UM Still Figuring Out Starting Offensive Line

Who will the starting five offensive lineman be this fall for Michigan?

ANN ARBOR -- Michigan media day has come and gone and there still remains a lingering question as the Wolverines prepare for their upcoming season.

Who will be named the starting five offensive lineman when U-M plays host to Appalachian State on Aug. 30? While the answer may be easier said than done -- the question still remains.

“Obviously the sooner you can answer that question, the better off you’re going to be,” said Michigan offensive coordinator Nussmeier.

Indeed, with less than three weeks till Michigan opens its 135th year of football, Nussmeier needs to find an answer for a team that finished 103rd in rushing in 2013 at 125.7 yards per game.

Whoever starts this fall, it all starts with better communication, Nusmeier said on Sunday.

“It’s not just the verbal communication that goes on there, but it is also the non-verbal communication,” Nussmeier said. “It’s something that we’re working on . We’re looking at a couple different scenarios and combinations right now. Will settle on that soon.”

As of Friday’s practice, U-M coach Brady Hoke said his first team offensive line group from left to right was freshman Mason Cole (LT), redshirt sophomore Erik Magnuson (LG), redshirt junior Jack Miller (C), redshirt junior Graham Glasgow (LG) or redshirt freshman David Dawson (LG) and redshirt sophomore Ben Braden (RT).

“We’re excited about the group we [have],” Nussmeier said. “Young players, and they’re growing every day. And we’re asking them to do some different things. We’re trying to focus in on certain elements and certain things that we do every week. So that they can really get good, as they say ‘Get better with repetition.’ So hopefully each week we get better and better.”

As far as when the first-team group will be named, Hoke said they would like to have a first team unit by next.

“I think sometime next week, middle of the week or end of the week, we'll settle in a little more with what we want to look at and do as far as the top five guys,” Hoke said. “[U-M assistant] Darrell (Funk) and Doug (Nussmeier) have done a nice job of rotating the guys in who we think really have an opportunity to be in that first group. I think as we go through it and the improvements they made from the spring and what they did through the summer, they're taking that to the field. That's been a real positive for us.”

Then, hopefully, Michigan will have an answer to the question.

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