February 28th, 2012 at 7:05 AM ^

Good interview and good job of restraining yourself from ripping apart his game. I am just kidding. Braden's size is college ready, his foot work will be the determining factor in his future. Redshirting that entire class will create a log jam so I kind of like the idea of not redshirting all of them. That is provided they don't burn it with DG playing time.


February 28th, 2012 at 7:28 AM ^

To be fair, he says this is what the coaches are saying, too.  And given how thin we are on the O-line, we probably will want at least one of the Freshmen players who could play a backup roll in the up-coming season.  That's not to say things can't or won't change depending on what he shows in practice, but it's not a stretch to think he will be considered for a backup right tackle instead of red shirting.


February 29th, 2012 at 7:19 AM ^

I suppose I could make up some story about my daughter helping to save me from a wormtongue-like individual, but really it just that both my daughter and I are LOTR fans.  I used to read her bedtime stories, and she started getting bored with the usual children's fare. When she was 5 or 6, I read her the entire trilogy and she loved it, begging for more every night. Yes, it took weeks, but she really got into it.  Then I checked out the animated videos from the library.  By the time she was 7 or 8, she already realized how ridiculous those versions were, and of course we saw the Peter Jackson versions when they came out.

Maybe if MGoBlog had been around in those years, I could have read from it instead, and she wouldn't have ended up a Spartan.  Anyway. she's a proud graduate of MSU and now working on a Ph.D. in Chem E at North Carolina State. As you might be tipped off given her field of study, she is definitely not an irrational, couch burning Sparty fan, and we enjoy some good natured ribbing back and forth when football season comes around. When I started thinking about possible avatars I couldn't think of anything better than a LOTR reference.


February 28th, 2012 at 7:23 AM ^

From everything I've heard he has the size and athleticism.  Sounds like he's been working in the weight room, is keeping in shape, and will be ready to train.  Kudos to him, and I look forward to seeing him in the maize and blue.


February 28th, 2012 at 7:51 AM ^

Ben is huge, all of our linemen are massive-do you guys ever wonder how much food and beer these guys can put away? I wish I could see an eating contest with just the Michigan linemen. My buddies in college would hit Red Lobster during football season for the all-you-can eat shrimp. My friend Josh ate 193 fried shrimp and scampi. I Got up to 138 and felt like dying. I'm wondering if a kid this size could do 300-400 shrimp. For those of you who are still on campus, do you guys eat with the team/serve the team at restaurants?


February 28th, 2012 at 8:08 AM ^

I really enjoyed that interview, thanks Magnus.  This kid seems like he has a lot of old school in him.  I loved his line "I just eat" and I can't stop laughing at the visual of little hercules hurling the rocking chair against the wall as a kid!


February 28th, 2012 at 8:10 AM ^

We're going to have some serious battles for playing time on the OL the next couple years.  I love it! It will be interesting who rises to the top and who falls behind.

Leroy Hoard

February 28th, 2012 at 8:58 AM ^

Do you think Braden is athletic enough to play LT? Seems like we've had a tough time finding the next Lewan - Kalis is a G or RT, what about Magnusson? Tully Tillman seems like a potential LT, but needs at least a redshirt year technique wise so he doesn't see the field until '14 at the earliest.


February 28th, 2012 at 9:24 AM ^

Well, keep in mind that Taylor Lewan is the next Jake Long (nobody's words but mine), and there were 5 years between those guys being recruited (Long came in 2004, Lewan in 2009).  I think Tuley-Tillman has the most potential as a future left tackle, but as you said, there are obviously some technique questions to work out in the meantime.

Braden has potential to play left tackle at some point in his career, but I think we're more likely to see him remain at right tackle.  The guy who seems to be primed for left tackle from the 2012 class is Magnuson, with Blake Bars as a darkhorse candidate for the position.


February 28th, 2012 at 9:35 AM ^

I've never played/taught the OL, but how difficult is it for tackles to switch from left to right? With Morris, the RT will be the blindside tackle. Will that change things? I know that typically your LT (blindside) tackle is more athletic and more of a pass blocker while your RT (other side) is more of a mauler because if he gets beat the QB can see it. Can the two tackles just switch sides year to year? Is there more technique than that? Honest questions

Space Coyote

February 28th, 2012 at 9:55 AM ^

Overall, the technique is pretty much the same.  The issue is you get used to doing things a certain way, ie foot placement, keys, etc.  Those keys and things are essentially the same, but they are mirrored.  Some people can handle this, others not as well (or at least it takes time to get away from what they are used to).

I know there was one school recently (I think it was Alabama but don't quote me on that) that would essentially flip their tackle based on the play.  That is, rather than having a blindside tackle and a front side tackle, they had something closer to a strongside tackle and weakside tackle.  So it can be done, again, it's just getting used to it.  Most RTs in the league were LTs in college.

Space Coyote

February 28th, 2012 at 9:57 AM ^

With Shane at QB typically your prototypical LT would be at RT and what you are looking for out of those players would flip.  It's more of a blindside/frontside tackle thing, but seeing as about 95% of QBs are right handed it works to the convention LT/RT.  It does get a little awkward at times though, especially if you're switching between QBs, as you don't want the linemen to get their keys and footwork confused.  Michigan may stick with more of a conventional approach at first (and hope the tackles are interchangable enough) and work from there.

The other position that will have to get used to it are the receivers.  It may sound like a very small thing, but when you are used to catching a ball with a certain spin all your life, a few drops occur when it hits your hands in a way you aren't used to.


February 28th, 2012 at 9:44 AM ^

It is my opinion that Braden's tape is the best out of all of our incoming OL in both classes, and think he will be a monster for us. I also think the M fan faithful are sleeping on him.

And further, it really pisses me off that they've talked about about Diamond and Kozan, like spurned lovers,  than they have about Braden, who will be better than both of them.



February 28th, 2012 at 10:58 AM ^

I definitely agree that he lacks a mean streak on the field.  Maybe he can develop that a little bit, but that lack of aggression is what knocked him down a peg or two in my estimation.  I think he's in the second tier of linemen that Michigan brought in last season.  He also has a fair amount of work to do from a technical standpoint because he didn't do a ton of pro-style pass blocking.


February 28th, 2012 at 11:35 AM ^

Aggression is not needed if he effectively makes the block at a dominant level. Lewan's aggression got him a ton of penalties...  and a mean streak like a Richie Icognito, who was cut by the Rams for this got him stupid penalties, over and over.  The term mean streak seems overused and not clear to many, maybe me most of all....... and Braden does what needs to be done...he annihilates the player, legally.  No "mean streak" needed I guess.


February 28th, 2012 at 11:37 AM ^

The problem is that doesn't always necessarily finish blocks.  I don't really see the "annihilation" you do, but maybe we've watched different film.  He's a solid high school lineman, but I don't think we should go quite so far as to say he dominated or annihilated the competition.


February 28th, 2012 at 2:47 PM ^

I wonder what he'll weigh as a senior?  Will he just get stronger or bulk up to something like 340?   He looks like a fairly solid 325 right now.  He's a large dude.

Sione's Flow

February 28th, 2012 at 11:46 PM ^

Did anyone else see the video of Tom with Ben Braden, he absolutely dwarfed Tom.  The kid is huge.  His lack of a mean streak can hurt, but I think the staff will find a way to get his fire burning.