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August 14, 2006 - Image 13

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-08-14

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August 14, 2006



Varsity still
looking for
right stuff
along line
By Stephanie Wright
Daily Sports Editor
The starters on the left side of Michigan's offen-
sive line and in the middle are all but set in stone:
Jake Long at tackle and Adam Kraus at guard, while
Mark Bihl looks like a lock to start at center.
But the starting jobs on the
right-side of the line were still
up for grabs at the beginning
of the Wolverines' summer
camp last week.
Michigan suffered a rash of
injuries along the offensive line
last season, starting five unique
combinations of players in 12 games. All that shuf-
fling upfront a year ago means the Wolverines enter
the 2006 campaign with a number of experienced
players competing for those last two starting spots.
Fifth-year senior Rueben Riley is the player with
the most experience. Riley has started 15 games for
the Wolverines - more than any other offensive
lineman on the roster - and has seen action in a
total of 25 contests.
The Grand Rapids native's greatest asset might
be his versatility. He started seven games at left
guard in 2004, but also played tackle in two games.
Last year, Riley made seven of his eight starts at
right tackle, the eighth at left guard.
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr doesn't have a posi-
tion in mind for Riley this season, but said he thinks
Riley would prefer to play guard.
"The good news for us is he's played both posi-
tions," Carr said. "I think he's more than willing to
play tackle, which says a lot about him. I think he's
willing to do what our team needs him to do. But if

tour good
for Cagers
By Kevin Wright
Daily Spurts Editor
What scared sophomore Jerret Smith the most
about joining the Big Ten Foreign Tour team?
It wasn't the level of competition.
Or that he might be injured.
Instead, it was the 12-hour flight to Australia.
"Jerret was a little nervous about the long plane
ride," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. "It was
the first thing he thought of when I told him he was
going. I think once we talked about it, he was great.
He's excited."
After a disappointing loss to South Carolina
in last year's NIT championship game, Amaker
and Michigan players Lester Abram and Smith
will be the first to get back on the court against
another team.
"It should be a fun trip for us," Amaker said.
"We're excited to compete, and I think that these
guys want to have some fun along the way."
Amaker received the coaching nomination earlier
this summer and will lead a team consisting of up
and-coming and established Big Ten players such as
Ohio State's Ron Lewis, Northwestern's Tim Doyle,
Michigan State's Travis Walton, Minnesota's Jona-
than Williams and Indiana's Rodrick Wilmount.
With a group coming from such a wide variety
of systems, Amaker plans on keeping the strategy
simple. He understands the players want to go out
and play rather than spend a large chunk of time
learning complex offensive schemes.
The team left from Ann Arbor last Monday, and
after a stopover in Dallas and California, started its
long trek to Australia.
The team had three days of sight-seeing planned
before stepping onto the court against Australian
club and pro teams.
See CAGERS, Page 15

Fifth-year senior Rueben Riley is the early favorite to start at the right guard position this season.

he would rather play guard, then I'd rather have him
play guard."
If Riley ends up starting at guard, the competi-
tion at right tackle would likely become a three-man
race. Fifth-year senior Mike Kolodziej has played in
25 games at Michigan but made just four starts, all
at tackle. Carr said Kolodziej still has a lot to prove
if he wants to secure a spot in the starting lineup.
"He's had a lot of opportunities, and he is a guy
that has enough ability," Carr said. "It just comes
down to performance."
Junior Alex Mitchell saw action at left and right
guard and left tackle in five games last season. In
April, Carr said Mitchell had shown promise, but

needed to improve his conditioning to get on the
field more this year.
True freshman Stephen Schilling has also
been mentioned as a contender at right tackle.
The Bellevue, Wash., native was a three-year
starter at tackle in high school. But unlike a few
other first-year Wolverines who arrived in Ann
Arbor in time for spring practice Schilling didn't
join the team until summer.
"The real question for him is, in a short period of
time, can he pick up enough knowledge and under-
standing to compete that soon," Carr said. "We'll
just have to see."
See 0-LINE, Page 16


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