ANN ARBOR--The Michigan offensive line has had some growing pains throughout its first two years of Al Borges’ offense. The main reason being depth, but with the recent of haul of two heralded O-line groups in the past two recruiting classes, the depth issue seems to be a problem of the past.
“Whenever you’re putting together an offensive line, you’re trying to find eight, nine and hopefully as many as 10 guys,” said Borges, Michigan’s offensive coordinator. “But at least eight guys that can play (that) you can put into a Big Ten game and they’re going to be functional. They’re not going to get killed. They’re not going to make mistakes. And we’re closer to that now then anytime since I have been at Michigan.”
While the offensive line has made some strides this spring, the group still has some work to do before fall camp.
“The big things about spring football you kind of draw conclusions based on where you are,” Borges said. “And then you want to see in the fall if there is carry over. Cause sometimes we have been cautiously optimistic, only to find out we weren’t far along on certain players as we thought we were. I’m going to save judgment till we’re closer to game time. I think then and only then will we know whether these guys are ready to compete in the Arena.
“I feel comfortable with all the spots on schedule. If that makes any sense. To say that we can play a game tomorrow and I feel comfortable—No. But we have more practice time. We have good candidates. That’s what’s kind of cool. Is now we have some depth. Before we were not as deep. We got really good candidates for these positions.”
Bringing in a transfer quarterback?
“It’s hard, yeah, it’s hard right now,” Borges said on the possibility of bringing in a transfer QB. “We leave all our options open with that. But it’s hard to do…A transfer probably going to have to graduate from school. OK, he’s going to have to get here in time to start mixing with our team. And there is a chemistry issue there. You know there can be. I know if there is, but there can be. He’s got to learn our system without the coach being able to coach him until fall camp. So you got issues.”
Shane Morris getting acclimated
While five-star quarterback, Shane Morris has arrived on campus, the Michigan coaching staff won’t be able to get their hands on him till late in the summer. So, Morris will have to get tutelage from incumbent starter, Devin Gardner.
“You can’t coach him,” Borges said on Morris enrolling this month. “So that’s your problem. You can’t coach him. But our kids can coach him. So, if he goes out there in some of our off-season workouts, there is no rule against Devin Gardner showing Shane Morris what to do. So, he’ll have to get it through osmosis a little bit.”
However, the one advantage that Morris has is his familiarity with the Michigan offense with his frequent visits to campus since his commitment.
“We have talked about that from the beginning,” Borges said. “He’s come to our practices. He’s seen basically really for two years. He’s a little different guy. He’s just not showing up now, Shane seems like he has been on the team for a long time. Because he has been to so many of our practices. I have worked with him at camps over the fundamentals. In couple camps, not just one. So, he is aware of how we coach the quarterback. ... At the same token, he has never played college football and there will be some growing pains that go with that.”