The Wolverine

April 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 35 of 67

36 THE WOLVERINE APRIL 2021 OFFENSIVE LINEMEN WHO'S GONE RIGHT TACKLE JALEN MAYFIELD Mayfield's return to Michigan following an initial opt-out last fall proved very short lived. He started the first two games of the season, suffered a high-ankle sprain and didn't come back. Now, he's gearing up for the NFL Draft, after just one full season on the field at U-M. CENTER ZACH CARPENTER Carpenter started the final two games of Michigan's 2020 season at center. He still opted to hit the transfer portal after the campaign, moving on to Indiana. WHO'S BACK REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE LEFT TACKLE RYAN HAYES Hayes started the first two contests last year at left tackle, before succumbing to turf toe. He's expected to pick up where he left off before his lingering injury. REDSHIRT FRESHMAN LEFT TACKLE KARSEN BARNHART Barnhart stepped in when Hayes went down, starting the last four games on the QB's blind side. He'll battle for the job there, or wherever he fits in and can see the field. REDSHIRT JUNIOR LEFT GUARD CHUCK FILIAGA Filiaga proved one of the most durable Wolverines up front, starting all six games last fall. He'll be looking to hold his spot against younger competition, while ramping up Michigan's overall run game. FRESHMAN RIGHT GUARD ZAK ZINTER Zinter came in as a rookie and started the final four games when injuries began taking their toll. He's looking to become a fixture at the right guard spot. REDSHIRT JUNIOR RIGHT TACKLE ANDREW STUEBER When Mayfield went down, Stueber moved over from right guard to right tackle. The veteran started all six games, the final four at tackle. Where he winds up this year likely depends on the best spots for the talent around him. SIXTH-YEAR SENIOR CENTER ANDREW VASTARDIS Vastardis earned the starting center job as a fifth-year senior, and started the first four games for the Wolverines. He's back on the spring roster, and will look to hold off younger chal- lengers for the spot. FRESHMAN CENTER REECE ATTEBERRY Atteberry came in as a rookie last fall from Colorado and proved impressive in practices. He appears the leading can- didate to challenge and, at worst, back up at the tip of Michi- gan's offensive spear. TOP NEWCOMER GRADUATE TRANSFER TACKLE WILLIE ALLEN The 6-6, 343-pounder was a four-star recruit according to ESPN — who listed him among the top 20 nationally — and 247Sports and began his career at LSU, where he redshirted in 2016. He then played a year at Tyler Junior College before transferring to Louisiana Tech, where he appeared in 25 con- tests and started 15 games — including all 13 at left tackle in 2019 — before opting out last fall. He enrolled at U-M this spring. POSITION BATTLE TO WATCH Keep an eye on left tackle, because it could hold the key to other dominoes. Whoever doesn't start there between Hayes and Barnhart could kick over to right tackle, allowing Stueber to again battle for a guard position. The experienced Allen also figures to factor in to the bookend battle. I t all starts up front. But who starts up front? That became the offensive lineman-sized question last fall, and it remains a pertinent topic this spring. Michigan's starting tackles were lost to injury in last year's ill-fated, truncated campaign. One of them sub- sequently bolted for the NFL. A young center stepped in to play, then transferred out. All over the place, offensive linemen shifted to plug the holes. Now even the coaches have rotated, for- mer tight ends boss Sherrone Moore into a twin role as offensive line coach and co- offensive coordinator, while Ed Warinner moved on to Florida Atlantic. In other words, there exists no lack of questions to be answered regarding the pivotal position on the offense. Michigan features talent, with uncertainty abounding. BY JOHN BORTON SPRING FOOTBALL ANALYSIS . RYAN HAYES PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - April 2021