|Michael Schofield (#75)|
Weight: 300 lbs.
High school: Orland Park (IL) Sandburg
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #75
Last year: I ranked Schofield #42 and said he would be a backup offensive tackle. Schofield started 10 games at left guard and played in all 13 games on special teams.
At 6'7" and around 300 lbs., not many people expected that Schofield would play guard at Michigan. In fact, when he came in for the injured Ricky Barnum early last season, it was the first time in his life that he had played guard. Barnum suffered a lower leg injury that kept him from getting back to full strength, and Schofield played fairly well in his stead. One might expect that someone with Schofield's height would struggle on the interior, but he used his athleticism (he was a high school hurdler) to pull and maneuver through traffic.
The guy blocking Schofield's path at right tackle (Mark Huyge) has graduated now, and the dearth of non-freshman tackles requires that he move back to the perimeter. That opens up a hole at left guard now that Barnum has moved to center, but Schofield can't be the answer there anymore. Many people think Michigan's pair of tackles is its best in years. Taylor Lewan holds down the left tackle position and might be an All-American and/or a future first round draft pick, and Schofield has a chance to develop into a very good tackle over the next couple seasons. Jake Long never had a strong tackle on the opposite side, so perhaps the 2000 season (Jeff Backus at LT, Maurice Williams at RT) was the last time Michigan was this good in the perimeter of the line. It's imperative that the two tackles stay healthy, or else freshmen will likely have to step in there.
Prediction: Starting right tackle
Poll results: Schofield got 35% of the vote for #11, while Thomas Gordon was first with 39%.