Monday, July 26, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
SnPr e e Offensive Line
Season rev iewl
0-line set to have significant impact on'M'
By RYAN KARTJE
For junior center David Molk, this
year might feel a little bit like a second
chance. Before last season, Molk was
widely considered one of, if not the
best, interior linemen in the Big Ten.
And through the Wolverines' first
three games, Molk's presence was
felt immensely as Michigan's running
game played huge parts in its four
wins to start the year.
And it was no coincidence that
when Molk went down with a broken
foot against Eastern Michigan, the
Michigan football run-game fell sig-
nificantly after that.
At full health, Molk and the Michi-
gan running game was accumulating
rush yards at a clip of about 270 yards
per game. And excluding the team's
blowout over FCS opponent Delaware
State, runners averaged 150 yards
less with Molk out of the lineup. So
as Molk went down with an ACL tear
against Penn State - effectively end-
ing his season - it was pretty clear
that the Wolverines' chances on the
ground were pretty shot as well.
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But this year, with a handful
of capable running backs, Molk is
healthy again and will take the reins
of an offensive line that could keep
Michigan in games this fall.
Alongside Molk will be senior and
offensive leader Stephen Schilling,
who has been described by many as
one of the Wolverines most important
assets this season. As the most capable
member of the line last season, Schil-
ling gained the trust of his coaches,
who have spoken glowingly of him
since. If Molk can complement him,
Schilling could end the year as an All-
Big Ten candidate.
Past them, the Wolverines boast
a wealth of young talent that should
play a huge part this year. Specifical-
ly, coach Rich Rodriguez had spoken
positively of Taylor Lewan, Quinton
Washington and Michael Schofield,
all of whom redshirted last season,
saying that all three will most likely
play roles on the line this year. After
shedding their high school physiques,
the three should provide an athletic
trio that will expectedly anchor a tal-
ented 0-line for the next three years
But of those three, Lewan seems
to be the name that's been buzzing
around the program during the spring
and summer. An absolutely monster
physically at 6-foot-8 and 283 pounds,
Lewan has spurred several, albeit pre-
emptive, comparisons to Wolverine
great Jake Long.
It's hard to ignore his size and ath-
leticism, but people are quick to forget
that Lewan played only one season in
high school on the offensive line and
didn't see any game time last season
due to redshirting. Regardless of his
inexperience, Lewan's physical tools
Michigan junior center, Mark Huyge, pictured left, is the backbone on the offensive line.
aren't something you see everyday.
The other tackle spot will most like-
ly be filled by above-average redshirt
junior Mark Huyge. He proved to be
serviceable and sometimes more than
that as he started nine of the Wol-
verines' 12 games last season. Fight-
ing for time will also be senior Perry
Dorrestein, but as a full-time starter
last season, Dorrestein was medio-
cre, showing for the first time in many
years that the Wolverines were hurt-
ing at the offensive tackle spot.
Sophomore Patrick Omameh
should fill out the rest of the line at the
other guard spot, impressing coaches
enough last season to earn significant
playing time at the tail end of the sea-
Omameh is a quick and physical
force on the line, and coupled with
two stalwarts in Schilling and Molk,
the trio should make running up the
middle relatively easier than in Michi-
gan's past two seasons.
For Rodriguez, a wealth of talent
on the offensive front can only mean
good things, especially with a rela-
tively inexperienced offensive corps.
It won't be the best group up front that
the Wolverines have had in our life-
times, but considering the incredible
talent out of the offensive front as of
late, that's not really an insult.
If the Wolverines stay bowl eligible
or better, a lot of the credit will be due
to this corps up front who, like Molk
last season, will have a significant
effect on this season's direction.
PROJECTED STARTERS: Taylor
Lewan, Stephen Schilling, David
Molk, Patrick Omameh, Mark Huyge
SURPRISE PLAYER: Michael Scho-
'U' women's pair nabs gold at World's *
By JAKE FROMM
BREST, Belarus - As Ashley Kroll
and Felice Mueller sat poised in their
boat waiting to race in the U-23 World
Championships on Saturday, they
were surrounded by red, white and
blue. One color, however, stood out
from the rest - maize.
Kroll and Mueller - both mem-
bers of the Michigan rowing team
- passed the finish line in seven min-
utes and fourteen seconds, clinching
gold ina world-record-setting victory.
The U. S. U-23 National Team is
comprised of athletes from around
the country, all of them current or
former collegiate rowers.
And in many cases, this puts for-
mer rivals not only on the same team
but also, on occasion, in the same
For Mueller, an Art and Design
junior at the University, learning to 0
think in terms of working with - and
not against - the other National Team
rowers was not an easy process.
Accepting the paradigm shift "was
See BELARUS, Page 12