The Wolverine

May 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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one interception in the spring game and generally ran better than he threw, but Borges said he'd been solid this spring. Bellomy had mo- ments in which he wasn't as asser- tive in the huddle as Hoke would have liked, but he played with confi- dence and is proving to be an astute decision maker. His best days are ahead of him, but he made a number of good throws throughout the spring and on April 15. question mark following Rimington Award-winner David Molk's depar- ture. Fifth-year senior Ricky Barnum was given the first look and stepped up like a veteran. "Ricky has come a long way for a Up front, center was the biggest LINE STARTING TO JELL Fifth-year senior Ricky Barnum, who played in four games, with three starts, at left guard last season, has moved over to center for his final campaign. Michigan's offensive coaches reserved much of their praise for freshman Chris Bryant. While the redshirt frosh-to-be is still one to watch, playing well behind fifth-year senior Patrick Omameh at right guard, another young lineman has stepped up to earn much of the praise. Redshirt sophomore walk-on offensive lineman Joey In discussing young offensive line talent late last year, position he really hasn't played very much," Borges said. "From a profile perspective, Ricky fits that position better than he probably does any other position. "He's a smart kid that plays with PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN good leverage and knows how to use people around him. Now he un- Walk-On Joey Burzynski Is Making A Move At Left Guard Ricky Barnum said. Redshirt junior left tackle Taylor Lewan called him a "genius" for the way he was able to use his tech- nique to his advantage against bigger players. "He's smart; he gets it. He knows his job and knows his technique," Lewan said. "When he came in this spring, no Burzynski might have been an afterthought to many head- ing into spring, but he emerged enough to run with the ones at the start of the April 15 spring game. Initial explo- sion at the line, hand placement, helmet placement while blocking, picking up defensive line schemes and working in tandem with others, among others, were areas in which Burzynski excelled. "He worked his butt off, said. "He's still not in a starting position, but he's competing for one, certainly. "He's very coachable. He's worked hard for [strength] Coach " offensive coordinator Al Borges [Aaron] Wellman. He's very attentive. He takes everything to heart. It's very important to Joe that he improve, and you are going to improve if that's your approach." Borges wasn't about to write Bryant off, noting the big line- man had been banged up in camp. "Chris Bryant is going to be a good player, offensive line is the most developmental position on the en- tire football team. They've got to go through some growing pains, get a little stronger and more aware. Chris just needs more of that development. " he said. "I think Burzynski, meanwhile, might have been the most consis- tent of all the linemen in the spring, fifth-year senior center " 26 THE WOLVERINE MAY 2012 one really thought of him as a starting guy. He took that per- sonally, and he has been working very hard this offseason. He is doing everything he can to be one of those guys that have an effect on this team." "When you're not the most gifted guy, you have to have something else that allows you to play, is not a bad athlete, but he's probably not as athletic as some of the other guys. That means he has to study the game and play with awareness. I think that is what he has done as much as anything to put himself in the position that he is in. Depth on the offensive line was a concern for U-M head- " Borges added. "Joe " ing into spring practice, but the uncertainty in the trenches offered an opportunity for Burzynski to make an impression. "Early on he became a factor and decided he was going to step up and compete for the position," Borges said. "When you're a walk-on and you're battling to get into that depth chart, you'll never get in until you get somebody's attention. He just did a good job. We're not real deep at offensive line, and he's taken advantage of that. "We tell players to seize the moment, and right now he is seizing the moment. the fall, but it's clear he's on his way to factoring into Michi- gan's line depth in 2012. Burzynski will have to continue through the summer and " — Chris Balas

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