The Michigan football program is almost back to square one after having to replace multiple key pieces to the offense.
Arguably, the area most impacted with open positions available is on the offensive line. It appears that offensive coordinator Tim Drevno will have his work cut out for him this fall trying to five the best five combinations to play this season.
Fortunately, Drevno says strides were made on the offensive line this spring which, obviously, could pay dividends down the line. It's clear the coaching staff prioritized speed and athleticism on the recruiting trail. They think they've found it at multiple positions, the offensive line included.
"I feel like we're more athletic," Drevno said. "We move better, we have better initial quickness. We can kind of stay on a block, where we're maybe getting knocked off the block but we can recover to get back on the block. I think, yeah, we we've done a good job with our recruiting classes bringing some guys in. It's a bright future, it's really pleasing. [The offensive line is] pretty competitive, there are other groups out there that are pretty competitive but being with them, you can say something to them, hey let's get going, we gotta go, and they respond immediately. Mason Cole and Kugs do a good job leading the charge in that group, they're a competitive group and they don't like to lose."
Just how much progress has been made won't be able to be on display until week one of the college football season. But there is a sense of urgency in Ann Arbor to build on what the program has started the previous two seasons under head coach Jim Harbaugh. It'll be a grind, but Drevno once again credits his leadership on offense for helping to make the transition a little more smooth for the younger players.
"Just the start of it I felt like, hey, we need to get things right," Drevno said. "You get the little knot in your stomach. We're in the results-oriented business and you get a little chip on your shoulder. I do feel like we're farther along. That just goes back to the winter workouts we had and the leadership of Coach Harbaugh, always [saying] how good can we get today? The grind, the competitive edge and they've done a good job of just embracing it, it really goes back to the leadership of [Pat] Kugler, Mason Cole, Wilton Speight and some of the other guys on offense trying to lead the charge."