Thursday, March 23, 2023

Ben Roebuck, Wolverine


Ben Roebuck (image via Twitter)

Lakewood (OH) Saint Edward offensive tackle Ben Roebuck committed to Michigan earlier today. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Penn State, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and others.

Roebuck is listed at 6'7" and 320 lbs.

ESPN: 3-star OT
On3: 3-star, 87 grade, #67 OT
Rivals: 4-star, 5.8 grade, #31 OT
247 Sports: 3-star, 89 grade, #24 OT

Hit the jump for more on Roebuck's commitment.

Michigan offered Roebuck over a year ago, back in January of 2022. Since then he has taken several unofficial visits to Michigan. His commitment to the Wolverines had largely been expected for a while, with 247's Brice Marich putting in a crystal ball for him back in November of 2022. It seemed like just a matter of time before he committed, especially since he did not have an offer from Ohio State. Roebuck took another unofficial to Michigan last weekend and was included in a picture with big-time recruits like Jadyn Davis, Brady Prieskorn, and Jordan Marshall; Marshall committed to Michigan, Davis is expected to do so, and Prieskorn is a little more up in the air.

Roebuck is a huge body at 6'7" and 320 lbs. He's thick in both the upper and lower body. He can be an effective down blocker with his size and weight, and it can be tough for defenders once he gets to leaning on them. Also, once he climbs to the second level and outweighs players by 100 pounds, they don't stand much of a chance if he gets his hands on them.

However, the 320-pounder comes with a hefty number of concerns, too. His thickness in the lower body limits his athleticism, and there are times when he does not seem overly interested in moving his feet. There are too many times where he lays on top of defenders or just waits for them to fall down after ping-ponging off his body. He tends to try to wrestle guys with his upper body rather than positioning himself correctly, and he does not change direction well. I would also expect him to have a little stronger of a punch and to be a little more devastating on some of his blocks; there are too many times where he gets stalemated at the point of attack.

Overall, Roebuck seems like an adequate player, but with the way Michigan is recruiting - and taking transfers - I don't know if his limited athleticism and limited willingness to finish blocks will get the job done to boost him into enough of a high level player to get on the field much in Ann Arbor. He seems to best project to playing guard, because I'm not sure if he can deal with the quickness of defensive ends and outside linebackers on the edge.

Michigan now has nine commitments in the class of 2024. The Wolverines also have pledges from offensive guard Luke Hamilton and German product Manuel Beigel, whom we have not seen much of but could play offensive line or defensive line. The last scholarship player Michigan signed from St. Edward was offensive guard Kyle Kalis in 2013, though walk-on safety Caden Kolesar also played for the Eagles in high school.

TTB Rating: 64


  1. Harsh eval. Maybe they figure this is their chance to get in and perhaps fend off and OSU offer down the line if it happens, otherwise let the "process" take it's course if it does not.

  2. Makes me think of Andrew Stueber. And, I like him better than Thunder does.

    But the entire key with Roebuck will be whether he can change his body, a la Stueber. First of all, I'm not believing 320 lbs and am thinking probably closer to the 340+ he gets attributed in some other places. Then remembering that he's 16. 17 years old ... tops, I'm cutting slack for imperfect coordination, footwork and bend.

    I do see him leaning on people some rather than driving them, but I also see some nastiness. I'm impressed by his ability to move around in space and find munchkins to block.

    The key here is of course whether or not they can lose the baby fat, and replace is with muscle. I'm betting that they can. They have time to do it too as there are a gaggle of tackles between him and playing time, but 2/3 years from now, I think he's a player at guard or more likely RT given his height. I think the kid can be a dominant run blocker with improving pass blocking skills. Harbaugh wants to beat you up physically, this is a kid with the potential to do that quite nicely.


    1. I actually re-watched Stueber's film to see if that comparison held up because I was going to use it, but Stueber was like 295-305 as a high schooler. Stueber moved a lot better than Roebuck in high school.

  3. What's the likelihood of a kid this big improving his athleticism? I tend to lean toward the athletic types, who our training staff add size onto


    The exact quote is "Stueber went from a 320 pound sophomore to a 280 pound junior, with the usual results:"