The 411: Drevno As Recruiter and Coach

Scout's USC insiders Ryan Abraham and Gerard Martinez and west coast recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman give Michigan fans the scoop on new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Tim Drevno.

What do Michigan fans need to know about Tim Drevno?
Ryan Abraham ( As most offensive line coaches go, they can be kind of fiery. He’s a fiery guy on the field, but when he comes off to do interviews, he’s got a lot of coach speak in him. He seems reluctant to talk about individual players, he prefers to talk about the team, but he’s usually pretty straightforward with the media.

He had a really interesting challenge at USC. He was the fourth O-Line coach in four years, it was a new coaching staff, and by the end of the year, they were starting three true freshmen on the offensive line. I don’t know if any other team in the country was doing that and I think Cody Kessler’s sack numbers weren’t real high and they did a real good job running the football. It’s hard to watch individual offensive linemen, but from what he went into and the personnel he had, I think he did a really good job. I think they’re getting a really good guy. Obviously Jim Harbaugh likes him and trusts him, so they’re getting a good offensive line coach.

How was he viewed as a recruiter and what areas did he cover for USC?
Gerard Martinez ( He's viewed as a pretty solid recruiter. I think most O-Line coaches fall into, they're more about position and USC, the way they recruit, it's more about the position they coach than recruiting a region, but he did recruit San Diego for USC and he has ties to the Bay Area, obviously he was with the 49ers, so he has west coast recruiting ties which will be good for Michigan to reestablish that more. It's interesting, he's very technical in his evaluation. He always talks about blue feet. If Michigan fans need to know anything about him, it's blue feet. Blue feet are how quick and agile he is, kick step, balance. He looks a lot at feet and footwork from an evaluation standpoint.

Those three freshmen who started, how much of a hand did he have in recruiting them?
Martinez: Not a ton, only because those guys were a little bit of a done deal. He wasn't hired until mid-January. He was one of the last guys hired on staff, but it was a bit of a catalyst when he was hired for those guys because they brought in an NFL guy from the 49ers who were an NFC Championship team, but also Stanford, where they had a really good offensive line.

Abraham: Damien Mama, who was a 5-star and committed on Signing Day and was one of those three, you could certainly say he was around for that and certainly had a hand in making sure he was coming. You could argue by the end of the year, that he was their best offensive lineman.

Martinez: Toa [Lobendahn] went from guard to backup center to starting left tackle, and credit Toa for his athleticism, but also Tim teaching him and getting him ready so he didn't get anyone killed at left tackle, cause that's what you worry about.

Abraham: I think, when you talk about player development a lot, there were three true freshmen emerging, and playing through the whole season, you have to tip your hat to Drevno to be able to develop those guys. To go from high school to college is one thing, but as an offensive lineman and true freshman, it takes a lot for those guys, especially two starting most of the year and a third who played a lot as well, I think he did a really good job.

Where did he recruit at Stanford and how did he do there?
Brandon Huffman (National Recruiting Analyst): He recruited nationally. Most of Stanford's recruiters were national recruiters and they recruited by position. He did recruit regionally some. He had parts of the west coast, northern California, but most of his recruiting was national. The offensive linemen he recruited at Stanford were an eclectic mix from Texas, the east coast, southwest, North Carolina, so they were guys they were honed in on more than targeting by region.

And how did he do with developing those guys?
Huffman: He had David DeCastro, Jonathan Martin, Kevin Danser, Khalil Wilkes, Sam Schwartzstein, David Yankey, who were really big ones, all guys who were the backbone there, and he was the point person or the initial evaluator on those guys and developed a few before he left with Harbaugh. Decastro was a top tier guy, Martin was a three-star, Yankey was a three-star out of Georgia, Wilkes was from Georgia, so they were identifying guys and he developed them and was the point person there and he contributed a lot to the outstanding offensive line they had under Harbaugh and the early part of David Shaw.

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