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Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Depth chart analysis: Right tackle

By Michael Rothstein

Over the next few weeks, WolverineNation will look at every position on the Michigan roster and give a depth chart analysis of each position on the roster heading into the offseason.

Michigan will have major holes and questions on the offensive line entering next season having to replace the entire interior of the line. Two players remain, though, and they’ll be able to give Michigan some stability on an otherwise fluctuating position group. And one will potentially start next season at right tackle.

The starter: Redshirt senior Michael Schofield. The starter here last season, Schofield did well at times and struggled at others after shifting over from left guard, where he stood out as a sophomore. Now, he has a more important role considering the majority of the Michigan offensive line will be first-time starters, including whoever he plays next to at guard.

The depth: Redshirt freshmen Blake Bars, Ben Braden and Erik Magnuson. Redshirt senior Erik Gunderson. A bunch of unknowns here. All three of the freshmen came in with some accolades and Magnuson, Braden and Gunderson all spent time on the two-deep even though neither Braden nor Magnuson played this season. Expect either Braden or Magnuson to play a lot next season, either here or at left tackle. But it’ll be a learning process.

The question mark: Where Schofield lands. Realistically, Schofield could stay at right tackle, giving Michigan experience on the edges. The wild card could be if they like Braden and Magnuson enough, would they move Schofield back inside to guard, where he excelled.

The bottom line: Should Schofield stay at right tackle, he will be the second-most experienced player behind Lewan. Whether he is ready or not, he will have to take a leadership position here and responsibility for whatever happens. Depending on what Michigan wants to do with the rest of its line other than Taylor Lewan at left tackle, this position will be manned by an experienced player in Schofield or someone seeing their first real action of their career.