The Wolverine

March 2020 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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74 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2020 M ichigan will be looking for four new starters on its 2020 offen- sive with Ben Bredeson, Jon Runyan Jr. and Michael Onwenu graduating, and center Cesar Ruiz entering the NFL Draft after his junior season. Redshirt sophomore tackle Jalen Mayfield, who started all 13 games at the right tackle spot in 2019, is the only returnee, but he's a great cornerstone, offensive line coach Ed Warinner told former Michigan All- American lineman Jon Jansen on Jan- sen's "In The Trenches" Podcast in early February. "Jalen started every game, and he had a great trajectory," Warinner said. "Sometimes, guys that are starting for the first time can flat line in the mid- dle of the season and not continue to grow, but he played his best football in November for us. If you go back and watch the tape against Michigan State, Indiana, Ohio State and Ala- bama, he played high-level football. "We're really pleased with his de- velopment, and it took a lot of hard work. He was a very diligent guy about coming in, doing extra film, do- ing extra field work. He would go out early to practice, stay late after prac- tice. He would do extra stuff on the off day. Jalen worked hard to get himself to a very solid Big Ten player." Mayfield's next step is to improve with his technique and fundamen- tals, Warinner continued. "What we're working on with him is just continuing to grow and de- velop with his hands and use of his hands, because they allow you to use your hands legally," he said. "That's still an area I think he can get better at. When players are thinking about what to do and how to do it, they forget about their footwork. So, we just want to keep drilling the foot- work with him … good footwork, good hands, and Jalen will continue to grow as a player." Redshirt sophomore tackle Ryan Hayes, meanwhile, started the first two games of the season at left tackle in 2019, filling in for the injured Run- yan. He played in all 13 games, coming off the bench in the last 11, and shined in his first-ever start in game one. " We ' re v e r y f o r t u n a t e Ry a n got quite a bit of playing time as a backup. He started two games and played very solid in those two games," Warinner said. "He was the player of the game for the Middle Tennessee game, and then Jon came back and he [still] had a role in there and played in every game. We even started using him in short-yardage goal line, wearing a tight end jersey number and putting him in there. "What we've talked to him about is most of his improvement needs to be in physical development through nutrition and [strength coach Ben Herbert] Herb and the weight room. Again, just working footwork, pad level, things like that that we can work with him, but he has a chance to be a really good player, too." If he can get from 295 pounds to 310 or 315 in the offseason and get stronger, Warinner explained, he'll have a solid offseason and be ready to go. The current plan is for May- field to stay at right tackle, while Hayes slides in on the left side. "That's where they feel most com-   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Offensive Line Coach Ed Warinner Talks 2020 Potential Redshirt sophomore tackle Jalen Mayfield is the only returning offensive line starter, but Warinner is still optimistic about the future of the Wolverines' front. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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