OL Recruiting Numbers

Submitted by rbgoblue on January 11th, 2012 at 2:14 PM

It's pretty obvious that after going light on the OL in the past couple recruiting classes (attrition and Jacob Fisher be damned), Hoke and Co. probably arrived at Michigan following Brady Hoke's crawl across the country, only to ask, "Where's the Beef?"  Numbers clearly necessitated a large recruiting class of offensive linemen, but looking at where we are now, and hoping to add one more (please, please, please be Josh Garnett), did we go a little overboard this year?

  • Kyle Kalis
  • Erik Magnuson
  • Ben Braden
  • Blake Bars
  • Caleb Stacey
  • AJ Williams (TE convert?)
  • (hopefully) Josh Garnett

Clearly, when you take potentially 7 linemen in a class, some will be starters, and others career backups, but doesn't this just create the same problem 4-5 years from now when this entire class graduates?  I'm just left feeling that after this class moves out, we will be left with the problem of replacing 4+ starters on our offensive line, which certainly doesn't bode well for a strong 2016 season.  Am I thinking too far ahead, or would it have been more judicious to sign 5 this season, and 4 or 5 more next year?



January 12th, 2012 at 12:26 AM ^

 Plus, there are injuries (god forbid), and other reasons some don’t pan.  Also, a solid program is constantly bringing in 4*+ linemen on both sides to have constant competition, and the old line, “they just reload” each year.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:17 PM ^

No.  There's a good chance that at least two of these guys will be gone within a couple seasons, so we didn't go overboard.  You have to build the numbers back up, a guy will leave here or there, and then you can take solid numbers every year from here on out.  We need numbers NOW, not later.


January 11th, 2012 at 5:19 PM ^

As Magnus states, we will probably lose a couple of guys, and there is a good chance Kalis could be a potential draft pick in three years from everything everyone says about him. Plus, given there are no sure things in recruiting (injuries and highly rated players not panning out). If a guys transfers, one gets injured, and two do not amount to much other than solid backups, we would only have 2 OL starters. After the last couple years, I don't want to be taking chances at positions of need on the recruiting front (which scares me about DT spot, but Pipkins seems really talented and motivated). Plus, it seems Williams is a TE until the coaches actually move him. He might be 280 now, but I wouldn't be surprised if he ends fall camp around 260. Kids tend to have bad weight that they must shed first before putting weight on (not always).


January 11th, 2012 at 2:19 PM ^

AJ Williams is not a O-linemen. Please kill this line of thinking.

Think about it this way:

There are currently two guys on the roster from the 2010 and 2011 recruiting cycles. Six guys (not seven, SIX) come in this year. 2 guys don't redshirt (say, Kalis and Garnett) and the rest do. Then, you've essentially got 4 guys in the 2015 class and 4 in the 2016 class. Michigan still needs 5-6 next year just to get numbers up to a normal D-1 college football team.

But under no circumstances is getting 6 "overkill" when there are only 2 tackles on the roster right now, and 4 more guys leave after the 2012 season.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:24 PM ^

A lot of talent evaluators who know a hell of a lot more than I do about recruiting have suggested for quite some time that AJ Williams has a lot greater potential at tackle than at TE.  I think the kid is at 280 lbs currently, and I can only see that number increasing with 4-5 years of a college strength/conditioning program.  Furthermore, the staff is in pursuit of TE Sam Grant currently, which would suggest that they would prefer to move either Williams to tackle or Funchess to WR.  I doubt they are planning on 3 TEs in this class, tho I could be wrong.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:26 PM ^

"Furthermore, the staff is in pursuit of TE Sam Grant currently, which would suggest that they would prefer to move either Williams to tackle or Funchess to WR."

Or it means that they want another TE and Pharaoh Brown's flip to Oregon screwed up their plans.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:33 PM ^

I would argue that the staff believes it has 1 TE on the roster capable of doing the blocking work it requires from the position (and Moore was responsible for 4th and 1 v. Sparty, so, eh), and so AJ Williams will be playing TE. They're going after another pass-catching TE because there are currently 0 of those on the roster.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:34 PM ^

no reason in the world you can't just make stuff up, right?  Like when Hoke says Williams is a TE, and Williams says he's a TE, you conclude that he's being slotted for tackle.

It's groundless speculation.  But, hey!  People on Mcloneblog know better than Hoke and his staff what they'll do!


January 11th, 2012 at 2:31 PM ^

1.  "I think [AJ Williams] is at 280 lbs currently, and I can only see that number increasing with 4-5 years of a college strength/conditioning program."

Not necessarily.  Sure, he will gain some man muscle in the weight room, but he could also lose 20-30 pounds of fat pretty quickly during spring conditioning and beyond.  Recent pics of the guy don't exactly show a lean individual.  Hell, if the plan is for him to really play TE, Hoke may have already told him that his odds of starting would be greatly increased if he could report on day 1 with 15 less pounds of fat.

2.  "the staff is in pursuit of TE Sam Grant currently, which would suggest that they would prefer to move either Williams to tackle or Funchess to WR"

Maybe, maybe not.  Our current roster is almost completely devoid of TEs and our OC wants to run an offense that features the position heavily.  Recruiting 3 TEs is not out of the question, given our roster.  Also, I think the move of Fnuchess to WR is more likely, since he would be a tough match-up problem for smaller corners.



January 11th, 2012 at 2:34 PM ^

Like Magnus (correctly) continues to insist, Williams is a tight end, regardless of what people say on here. He's the only incoming tight end (as of right now, and even if Grant commits this won't change) with a college-ready body for the position—Grant is listed at 6'6", 240, which isn't tiny or anything, but that's still undersized for a starting Big Ten TE. He's been told by the coaching staff he'll play tight end. He wants to play tight end.

Most importantly, the depth chart at tight end consists of (1) unproven senior Brandon Moore, who hasn't done anything in his career and (2) recent WR convert Ricardo Miller. That's it, folks. Not only will Williams come in as a tight end, he's probably going to play a lot next year, even if he's a glorified third tackle. I'm actually pretty excited for that possibility.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:47 PM ^

Hey Ace, just an opinion question, but do you see Williams playing at TE all 4 years, or moving inside at some point when TE depth is better solidified (2 or so years down the road)?  I've always assumed that given his size and the desire of Borgess to use the TE position in the passing game, we could see him move inside over the course of his career.


January 11th, 2012 at 3:06 PM ^

I could certainly see a position switch occurring down the road, but with the complete lack of depth, I think Williams will be forced to play right away and stay at TE for at least two seasons. At that point, it might be best for him to stick there, depending on how recruiting at the position goes and how well the team is set along the O-line, as well as how Williams's body develops. I doubt he moves to the line any time real soon, however.


January 11th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

  • Jay Riemersma: 6-5, 255
  • Jerame Tuman: 6-4, 255
  • Aaron Shea: 6-3, 255
  • Bennie Joppru: 6-4, 234
  • Tim Massaquoi: 6-2, 253
  • Tyler Ecker: 6-6, 246

I'm going to have to disagree on Grant being undersized.  Get him on a campus and they'll put the right kind of weight on him.



January 11th, 2012 at 5:24 PM ^

True, but those guys were upperclassmen going into the draft with 3-5 years of college weight conditioning. Just because Grant is 240 doesn't mean he is the same as 234 Joppru. As a high school student he is definitely carrying bad weight which will need to be shed and then muscle added. I don't think that means Grant couldn't play this season, but he might not be ready to go for the first game. Maybe 6 games into the season we could be seeing him more (if he commits).


January 11th, 2012 at 2:33 PM ^

I've always been of the mindset that with the OL, you redshirt unless you need them.  While the depth is poor, I only see one (Kalis) playing this season, likely backing up at tackle.  As was alluded to in a mainboard post yesterday, our depth on the interior OL is a little better, so hopefully we wouldn't have to burn potentially Garnett or Magnuson's redshirt.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:36 PM ^

Wow. Swing and miss.

The plan MIGHT be to redshirt, but that's a plan. Regarding Kalis, you must have missed him playing OG at the All America Game.

Who knows where these guys end up, but if Kalis and Garnett, for two, are ready to go, there's nothing wrong in my mind with getting them special teams and backup work this year. The law of averages states that at least 2 or 3 of the starters will spend time on the sidelines with injuries, so they better be ready to go.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

Swing and miss?

While it is possible that Kalis may end up at OG here at UM, he has played OT his entire career to date.  I think he has an equal chance to develop at guard or tackle, and in terms of the guys coming in, he is probably the most ready (right now) to back up at tackle in year 1.  I'm not going to change my mind based on where someone plays in an all star game, where most of the OL that play are tackles (which are typically higher rated by recruiting services).  Take Magnuson for example.  He played at guard in the USAAB as well, but most people were going to when lining up with 6'9" Zach Banner and 6'7" Kyle Murphy.


January 11th, 2012 at 5:24 PM ^

Will you change your mind if Kalis himself says that he likes playing guard and that he seems himself playing guard at the next level?  Regardless of where he played in the AA game, that is what he said when someone asked him about his future position.

According to Scout, an area for improvement with Kalis is "arm length".  Arm length is important for tackles so that they can keep defenders off their body.  If his arm length is a concern then he might project to guard in college. 


January 11th, 2012 at 2:20 PM ^

I ws thinking the same thing.  But I think many of these lineman play multiple positions.  So you can plug them in where needed now and down the road.  On top of that, you never know who will stay all 4 or 5 years.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:22 PM ^

in all reality we are probably gonna have at least 1 kid who isn't good enough to play or gets hurt and isn't around 2 years from now, 1 who becomes a D lineman, and 1 who truly is a career backup (nothing wrong with that, it is the makeup of about 1/3 of every class.)  Add in the fact that redshirting will stagger their eligibility and we're all set (maybe not ideal, but all set none-the-less)


January 11th, 2012 at 2:22 PM ^

Still think AJ Williams ends up on the OL.  He played there this whole year in High School, too.  I think, at the very least, it is a possibility.

I think considering our shallow depth, 6-7 OL is totally reasonable. 


January 11th, 2012 at 3:01 PM ^

Forgive me, but I find it disrespectful when people don't spell other people's names correctly. Troy Woolfork, Junior Hemmingway, Eric Magnuson, etc. are all wrong and annoying.  I don't mind typos on random words, but misspellings of Michigan players' names irks me.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:31 PM ^

Our O-line depth is very thin.  So thin that we can't fill 2 full lines with scholarship players and we have 5 with game experience on the roster for the spring.  That is terrible.  I imagine our Spring Game will not be an actual game again this year.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:46 PM ^

I think its 6 if you count Mealer and Rocko but the point holds, scary, 8 scholarship OLs in the spring and 8 non true frosh scholarship OLs in the fall, same as last year.  We were so lucky with injuries this past year, on the ol and otherwise.

Anyone have an update on the walkon OLs, seems like there were 2 or 3 that people have mentioned as possible contributors.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:52 PM ^

I didn't count him.  I forgot that he actually played I guess.  Hopefully Bryant and Glasgow (one of the walk-ons) can contribute next year.  Like you said, if we have more than two injuries on the O-line next year, we may have 2 or 3 true freshman contribute quite a bit in 2012.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:32 PM ^

5 starters and 2 backups sounds about right to me and some will  redshirt, or play tight end in one case. not worried more line classes like this please


January 11th, 2012 at 2:38 PM ^

for one thing we have no choice.  Some people don't realize how ridiculous Carr and RR let the OL depth get.  In 2013 we will have 4 OL on the roster who are older than the guys being recruited in this class and 2 of them we have no idea yet if they can play.  Assuming you never want to play true frosh on the OL, that will leave us with 4 plus the guys in this class to find our 2013 OL from, thats still not good depth.   This is not to mention that we might need one or more of these guys to play in 2012.  The more bodies the better chance one of them is able to do that and the better chance they can fill the  potentially gaping holes in 2013.

I wouldn't worry about 4 or 5 years down the road.  I think there is a good chance the best guy in this group will play in 2012 and then you have to figure at least one washes out or at least is not a real contributor.  That would leave only 4 (not counting Williams who we still have to think of as a TE until he's not) in the class.  Then you have injuries and guys potentially going early.

blue in dc

January 11th, 2012 at 6:19 PM ^

The only people he has any responsibility for our fifth year seniors. While RR deserves a great deal of the credit for the 2008 offensive line haul, collectively they brought in 6 players. Two of them, Omareh and Barnum are likely starters, two others provide depth, while not ideal, not really the root of our problem. That would be the o-line recruiting after 2008.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:40 PM ^

Our O Line is a mess and I'd take two more commits at those positions. We need to *overload* for a season or two to regain some regularity.
Other teams, when facing injury, have to resort to underclassmen or burnt redshirts to patch up the rotation. We would have to play walkons otherwise.

True Blue Grit

January 11th, 2012 at 2:52 PM ^

In order to have good depth, we need to sign between 4 and 5 OL every year.  That will also account for redshirting, transfers, guys who have to quit for medical reasons, etc.  As was stated, we're in a hole because of so-so recruiting at the end of the Carr years, the coaching transition, and RR's OL-light classes.