Last year, Michigan rode their running game all the way to a College Football Playoff appearance. The Wolverines rushed for over 200 yards a game and a whopping 5.2 yards per carry for the season. While the Michigan running backs, Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum, played a huge role, running games are completely reliant on offensive line play. The Michigan offensive line is primed for another huge season.
Michigan’s Rebuilt Offensive Line
The Wolverines lost their right tackle and center from last year. Harbaugh and his staff wasted no time filling those roster holes. Michigan picked up Victor Oluwatimi from the transfer portal who was a finalist for the Rimington trophy last year. Trente Jones, a four star recruit from 2019, looks to be the answer at right tackle. The first look at returning starter Zak Zinter shows he has put on weight and looks NFL ready right now. Michigan’s offensive line looks ready to be the foundation of their offense.
Michigan’s Versatile Offensive Line
Versatility is a key strength in the Michigan offensive line. Multiple players can play multiple positions. Michigan has about 8 guys that can start on the line and about half of them can play multiple positions. You know it is good when your back ups could be starters on other teams. If Michigan experiences injuries in the season to the offensive line, the players will be able to shift to other positions without losing quality of play.
Returning Offensive Starters
Another aspect that helps Michigan’s offensive line is the returning starters for the rest of the offense. Cade McNamara and JJ McCarthy are back behind center. Blake Corum is now the top running back with Donovan Edwards joining him. This type of continuity will help the Wolverines offense establish a clear identity early. I expect Corum to easily eclipse 1,000 yards with Edwards having a chance as well. As good of a season as Michigan had last year running the ball, I expect them to have an even bigger year this year.
It’s not secret that Michigan wants to run the ball. With Michigan’s offensive line, I’m not sure how many teams will be able to stop the run. All 5 starters are elite. Some of the backups would be starters on other teams. Michigan will boast not only the best offensive line in the Big Ten, but one of the best in the entire nation.
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