Saturday, August 24, 2013

2013 Season Countdown: #5 Michael Schofield

Michael Schofield
Name: Michael Schofield
Height: 6'7"
Weight: 304 lbs.
High school: Orland Park (IL) Carl Sandburg
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Redshirt senior
Jersey number: #75
Last year: I ranked Schofield #11 and said he would be the starting right tackle. He started all thirteen games at right tackle.

Schofield played left guard for most of the 2011 season, so last year he was somewhat of a position switcher and playing right tackle for the first time. Things went okay for him at right tackle, where he was a solid blocker but not a standout. Overshadowed by all-everything left tackle Taylor Lewan, Schofield managed to start every game on the right side and not earn a single conference or team accolade. He did turn out to be the team's second-best lineman, but the trio of interior guys last year left a lot to be desired.

This off-season he's getting quite a bit of hype, although he's still in the shadow of Lewan. There have been various articles about this being the best tackle tandem in the Big Ten and perhaps the entire nation. Schofield has good length and is a plus pass blocker, but he's not the overpowering drive blocker you might want in an ideal right tackle. For Michigan I think he's the fifth-most indispensable player, because the backup options are potentially very questionable. The third tackle into the game would probably be redshirt freshman Erik Magnuson, who has not earned much practice buzz and is hovering around 285 lbs. Otherwise, there's fifth year senior walk-on Erik Gunderson and part-time guard Ben Braden, who no longer seems to be in the mix for the left guard job but hasn't been practicing a ton at tackle as a result of his battle for the LG job. Schofield is also the backup left tackle, so any injury to Lewan would force a reshuffling in at least two offensive line spots. He's the unquestioned starter at right tackle and could be All-Big Ten by the end of the year.

Prediction: Starting right tackle; All-Big Ten Second Team


  1. I thought Schofield did a pretty darn good job at left guard a couple of years ago. He's not a road grader, but he's athletic for his size and works well in space. He would probably dominate in a spread system like Oregon or Arizona.

  2. Besides Lewan, Gallon, and Gardner who else is there to cover?!

  3. If Bryant is truly healthy, I think we might have a plus OL this year. And I think we need Bryant's run blocking badly. We need to be picking up 3 or 4 yards on our first and second down runs, not 1 or 2 yards. We can't afford too many third and longs with this receiving corps (do people realize that Funchess only had 4 catches for 47 yards in the 5 games that Devin QB'ed?).

    Schofield and Lewan will be solid, but Bryant to me is the key. If we can run the ball effectively on first and second down, we may be in good shape. But that's going to require blocking. No more Denard to magically bail the OL out. In fact, many forget that Devin did a lot of bailing the OL out with his legs last year, too. Not sure we want to go too far down that road this season with our QB depth. For the first time in four years we have to have a real running game.

    1. Run blocking is absolutely critical to this team's success. It doesn't have to be Bryant - it can be Glasgow, Miller, Braden, Kalis -- somehow we need to find 3 quality interior linemen or else this offense will struggle.

      Good point about the Funchess. He and Williams will also play a key role in the run-blocking. I expect them to be improved, hopefully dramatically. If not, it's going to be Paskorz which mean more of the Kwaitkowski-Watson-level performance.

  4. I think there is Gallon, Lewan, DG and Thomas Gordon left

  5. DG Gallon Taylor and Thomas Gordon left. Id rank them like this:

    1) Devin Gardner. If he goes down the whole team goes down.

    2) Taylor Lewan. He must protect DG.

    3) Gallon. Thin at WR, he must have a good year.

    4) Gordon. Needs to pick up where he left off in 20111 turnover wise and stop getting beat deep. Senior leadership in the secondary.