Friday, March 30, 2012

Poll Results: Who will be Michigan's starting left guard?

Fifth year senior offensive lineman Elliott Mealer
This comes on the heels of Rocko Khoury's departure, who was presumed to be in the running to play center.  Now that it seems Ricky Barnum is destined to be the starting center this fall, that leaves an opening at left guard.  So I posed the question (for a second time): Who will be Michigan's starting left guard against Alabama?

Chris Bryant: 58%
Bryant is only a redshirt freshman but has earned praise from coaches and practice observers alike.  So far in spring practices, it has been reported that Bryant is playing behind Patrick Omameh at right guard.  This could be to give Omameh some competition, but Bryant has always seemed like more of a strongside guard to me.  When a kid is 6'4", 341 lbs., the coaches probably want him to do more bulldozing and less pulling.

Kyle Kalis: 16%
I still have doubts that a true freshman will start the first game of the season.  Kalis is good, but he won't get to campus until June.

Patrick Omameh: 12%
Omameh has been the starting right guard for parts or all of the last three seasons.  I'm not sure why he would flip to the left side at this point, although I wouldn't say it's impossible.  If the other guard isn't adept at pulling, Omameh (who isn't great at pulling, either) might be an upgrade in that department.

Elliott Mealer: 11%
At least in the early going of spring, Mealer seems to be the frontrunner for the left guard position.  The fifth year senior has been running with the first team, and his only serious competition would seem to be Bryant. 

Other: 1%
It was recently reported that redshirt freshman walk-on Graham Glasgow has been the #2 left guard in spring ball, but keep in mind that a couple walk-ons are bound to be on the second team due to a lack of depth.  Without Khoury, David Molk, and Mark Huyge (all of them graduated) and without the four freshman linemen on campus, numbers dictate walk-ons will get a chance to see some time.  The only "backup" scholarship players available are Bryant and redshirt freshman center Jack Miller.


  1. I'm pulling for Elliot Mealer in this one.

  2. Which guard spot is the 'strongside'? Or is it like 'blindside' tackle, where it depends on the QB's arm?

    I think they need Kalis to focus on tackle when he arrives, since they lack depth there.

    Mealer will probably start, but I'd expect Bryant to play and potentially pass him in terms of snaps during the season. Regardless of the Bama starter, an injury is likely to occur somewhere at some point and one of the non-starters listed here will get elevated then.

    I don't know what to make of the positive words about Glasgow and the other walk-on at Center/Guard. Usually it's a bad sign that the coaches are talking about walk-ons.

  3. If it's close, I see the coaches sticking with Mealer. He's had a tough road, loyal guy, etc. Good for him and the team if he can hold on. Bryant came in overweight and a bit raw so he may not be a complete player (significant upgrade over Mealer) for another year. I can see why the coaches plan on starting Kalis out at RT - they seem to have three legit options at OG.

    1. When a lefty quarterback plays, Kalis at right tackle will have the blind side.