You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Mar 8, 2010 : 3:37 p.m.

Young offensive linemen a focus as Michigan football team readies for spring practice

By Dave Birkett

Michigan offensive line coach Greg Frey can't say for sure how much bigger Taylor Lewan is than last year. But whatever the difference, it's noticeable.

"He’s growing, and you can see his dedication in the weight room taking hold," Frey said last month at the Victors' Rally. "I don’t know an exact weight, but if you saw him walking around he’s starting to fill out a little bit, you’re starting to see some good things."


Taylor Lewan

Lewan is one of a handful of second- and third-year linemen who'll take center stage next Tuesday when Michigan opens spring practice.

With center David Molk still recovering from a torn ACL and two starters to replace off last year's 5-7 team (Mark Ortmann and David Moosman), Frey expects plenty of competition this spring.

Lewan, who was listed at 6-foot-7 and 268 pounds last year, could push veterans Perry Dorrestein and Mark Huyge for playing time at tackle. Fellow redshirt freshmen Quinton Washington and Michael Schofield also will see extensive work after joining Lewan on the scout team last year.

"They’re in the process of learning and contributing and doing those things, so we’re going to see as we get in there and see them live against d-linemen," Frey said. "But I’m excited about them. They’re a good group of young men and I believe that they want what everybody wants, and that’s to play good football and represent Michigan."

Molk and guard Steve Schilling are the only returning linemen guaranteed starting spots, and third-year sophomore Patrick Omameh is a favorite to win a third job. Omameh played well when he cracked the lineup late in the year, starting at right guard against Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State.

"He did some really nice things, he did some freshman things, but he plays hard and it means something to him," Frey said. "But with that foundation I’m excited to see where he goes."

Michigan started six different offensive-line combinations last year, and struggled adjusting to two separate Molk injuries (he missed four games with a broken foot, and four more with the torn ACL).

Frey said the Wolverines' youth up front could be an asset this year.

"You hope that they’re absorbing everything and helping create depth, but you really don’t know until you get to the game," Frey said. "From my position, it’s so much about practice, about live work to see where they’re at."

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 7 p.m.

BuZZ Drob will not be a QB.he will not make a dime at that position in he pros.He must learn to be a RB or a cover CB.We already have 3 QB s that are betteer tha he is,but at Rb he could be a Reggie BusH with that 4.28 40.BTW,i justt learned theat "BAMA" was on probation before Satan hit the scene.That explains his success.The same thing at LSU.A ordinary guy who couldn't wim a bowl game in ht eBig Ten goes down South and has 2 NC.Then he goes to the pros where the players are already paid and flopps.See a pattern here. State fans :Do you understand what "blowout" means.Better learn up cause your're going to get one.BTW stop by and have a nice word for Roy Winston at the "big House".No,not that one,the one in Jackson.


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 6:22 p.m.

OL are the key to any offense.You saw what happened when Molk went down.This year we are stacking them up with very good players.That will allow us to substitute freely.Forcier was a freshman ALl American despite a bad arm.He is a better thrower and runner than Gardner,but Drob will move over to RB or a double slot.Gardner wil back up Tate and Jones has to find some PT as he is too good to sit the bench.With all the added talent Forcier may be an All league QB.Gallon and Drob will give us a chance to move Roundtree to the outside where Forciers scrambling will give the deep guys time to get open.The defense will be much improved with 17 freshman pushing the starters.Furman and Dorsey have to play, and maybe Ryan and Vinopal.Graham will be replaced by a variety of talent waiting in the wings.The only position that is in question is the Lbs.Ezeh and Mouton flopped last year.


Wed, Mar 10, 2010 : 11:22 p.m.

Redceder. K first of all Mallt is not at UM anymore, hes at Arkansas doin real well. Shoelaces is an athlete that didnt have the type of training as Tate, the coaches at UM will trun him into a true dual-threat QB in no time. Gardener is beast but u make him sound like he's the best, he'll be in 2 years after redshirt. Jones will take the reins also and could pontentially give Gardener some trouble for startin spot. They are not Freshmen anymore. Go blog on ur fruity Sparty site. Go BLUE!!!!


Wed, Mar 10, 2010 : 1:27 a.m.

All of states convicts and all of states fans, should go and commit crimes in public again


Wed, Mar 10, 2010 : 1:26 a.m.

All of states convicts and all of states fans, should go and commit crimes in public again


Wed, Mar 10, 2010 : 1:25 a.m.

All of states convicts and all of states fans, should go and commit crimes in public again


Tue, Mar 9, 2010 : 3:46 p.m.

Offensive linemen are critically important to whatever offense a team runs because they are the ones to open running lanes for the backs and provide pass protection to the QB even in RR's offense. More importantly, good offensive linemen are very important when you are in 3rd-and-one and 4th-and-one and need that extra yard (see Illinois game last year when U-M couldn't punch it in from the one after having the ball 1st and goal from the one). This is an area in which the team needs to be fundamentally strong as is the defense, which has been neglected terribly during RR's tenure based on the statistics over the past two years in terms of points allowed and yards allowed. The "King" needs to deliver this year or else he will be gone because he is skating on thin ice as it is. I hope he can get the job done because U-M invested a lot of money and faith in him. However, it's time to do more than just talk a good game at this point.


Tue, Mar 9, 2010 : 10:42 a.m.

The king and all the kings men won't be able to produce a bowl game again

Sean T.

Tue, Mar 9, 2010 : 5:34 a.m.

Keep working hard guys.


Tue, Mar 9, 2010 : 12:05 a.m.

Linemen serve very little purpose in the spread. Even with 1 or 2 star linemen, the spread will work just fine. In King Rod We Trust


Mon, Mar 8, 2010 : 9:36 p.m.

How is this 4 years straight a freshmen will start at QB? Most likely its goin to be tate or Drob who will get the starting job. DG is a great player and all but he will have to learn the spread and also lacks experience that Drob and tate have over him. CJ is a player who will be red-shirted mot likely but when he starts later he will be a force to reckon wit like DG. O-Line looks good. Heard Lewan is pushing 290. hopefully he reaches the 300 IB mark. The O-line seems to be bulkin up, D-line is also bulking up too which would help a lot. Pieces are coming together for UM. This recruiting class looks like we could land some serious O-line players wit some pretty good size. Hopefully we can land crazy LB like DePriest, Grant, and Frost. Keep up the good work guys. GO BLUE!!!