2017 Season Countdown: #39 Juwann Bushell-Beatty

2017 Season Countdown: #39 Juwann Bushell-Beatty


July 24, 2017

Juwann Bushell-Beatty (#76, with high school teammate Jabrill Peppers taking a snap; image via Michigan Daily)

Name: Juwann Bushell-Beatty
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 311 lbs.
High school: Paramus (NJ) Catholic
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #76
Last year: I ranked Bushell-Beatty #64 and said he would be a backup offensive tackle. He made one start and played in eight total games.
TTB Rating: 68

Bushell-Beatty went into the 2016 season with a prime opportunity to win a starting position, and he lost out in that competition to Grant Newsome to begin the year. Furthermore, he appeared to be third, behind freshman Ben Bredeson as well. Bredeson went on to establish himself at left guard, but Bushell-Beatty drew into the lineup after Newsome suffered a horrific knee injury against Wisconsin. (Newsome missed the rest of 2016 and will also miss 2017.) Bushell-Beatty struggled but earned his first start the next week against his home-state Rutgers Scarlet Knights . . . and struggled some more, at which point he was permanently replaced by Ben Braden.

This spring wasn’t any more positive for Bushell-Beatty. On the plus side, he has lost some weight from his earlier days in a Michigan uniform, but some minor injuries hampered him and he was passed by 6’4″ Jon Runyan, Jr., a guy almost everyone pegged as a center or guard. Some reinforcements are enrolled for the fall, though the Wolverines were unable to snag any grad transfer offensive linemen to ramp up the competition. Bushell-Beatty appears to be in a backup role for 2017, and while he has some value as a seasoned backup, he probably won’t be a starter again at Michigan unless injuries occur. Perhaps new offensive tackles coach Greg Frey can work some magic, but Frey generally goes for different body types than Bushell-Beatty’s. Ultimately, it looks like Bushell-Beatty will be a backup in 2017 and perhaps looking for a grad transfer opportunity elsewhere in 2018.

Prediction: Backup offensive tackle

25 comments

  1. Comments: 762
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Jul 24, 2017 at 3:35 PM

    If JBB is all the way down at 39, I’m assuming you have Runyan and a TrFr ahead of him? I didn’t think Runyan looked to great in pass-pro; and I definitely don’t think any of our TrFr are ready to start…
    I think JBB is tight into the two-deep, and will likely start, even if not great

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3611
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jul 24, 2017 at 4:31 PM

      Agreed. If nothing else JBB offers a baseline level of performance. Maybe younger guys will be able to top it, maybe they won’t.

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 3611
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jul 24, 2017 at 4:29 PM

    The 2nd most-veteran OT on the roster should be a ranked much higher than this (with no other proven options available beyond starters). I would not read too much into the Spring practice stuff (i.e., Ulazio over JBB).

    Replace Ulazio with Runyan and my comment above (from the 2016 JBB countdown) stands up well for 2017. I have the feeling that Runyan’s presumed insertion into the starting lineup has a lot to do with JBB being hurt in the spring. We know how this staff feels about injuries – they don’t have much patience or tolerance unless you’re on the verge of losing a limb.

    JBB started last year and depth is even more severe now. JBB will probably start again at some point this year. Given the issues and uncertainty along the line, a guy who is clearly in the top 5-7 OL should be in the low 20s IMO.

    This is not to say he’s a great player, but Frey is an excellent coach and JBB clearly has some ability. He’s a key player for Michigan in 2017.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 3611
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jul 24, 2017 at 5:22 PM

    Just for the record – I do hope JBB is passed by a younger player. That would be the best case for Michigan. I’m just not sure it’s very likely given most of these guys failed to do it last year (Bredeson excepted). Ruiz looks like he might be a special freshman, but it doesn’t look like that is going to effect the OL interior too much.

    Last spring practice stuff indicated Ulizio would pass the unexceptional JBB. This year same is happening for Runyan. Past experience says it’s worth taking a skeptical eye at these sort of ‘developments’. My guess is that you start hearing about JBB really taking a step forward in practice come late August…followed by underwhelming performances in September.

    The good news is that it’s a bit of a stop-gap year at OT. In 2018 Newsome should be back and the guys from the 2016 and 2017 classes should be rounding into form. Cole will be gone but the 4 other starters projected to return and Grey Frey’s coaching taking hold, we should be in much better shape.

    JBB might not be needed by then. In 2017 it’s likely he’s an important piece.

  4. Comments: 682
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Jul 25, 2017 at 7:00 AM

    Still way too many meh OL recruits on this roster. Too many guys who show no promise of being top-notch, dominant players in the foreseeable future, and that we’re having to cross our fingers about just getting a year or two out of them as default starters.

    You need a killer Oline to succeed at a playoff level, and until and unless we get there, we’re never going to be more than a second tier program. So far all we have are promises and admonitions to give player X or coach Y another year or two.

    • Comments: 30
      Joined: 8/21/2015
      AA7596
      Jul 25, 2017 at 10:16 AM

      Your frustration is understandable, but you’re basically demanding that time move faster.

      JBB was indeed a meh recruit…who was brought in by Hoke. Anyone who’s in his 3rd year or beyond is either a Hoke recruit or part of the transition class that Harbaugh had a month to salvage.

      The young end of the OL roster isn’t the problem. Ruiz is the #1 C recruit in the country; Bredeson & Onwenu (both true SO) are set to start and expected to play well. The problem is that the 3rd, 4th and 5th-year groups are giving us a grand total of 1 reliable OL (Cole).

      • Comments: 682
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jul 25, 2017 at 11:54 AM

        But other than Ruiz, are there any even of Harbaugh’s OL recruits that have all-conference or all-American level promise? Bredeson and Onwenu are starting by default. Too many guys like Runyan, Hayes, Mayfield, Steuber, Paea, Honigford, Hall and Spanellis, who are long term projects that we can’t expect championship level performance from for at least 3-4 years in, if ever.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jul 25, 2017 at 12:58 PM

        We have no idea if the younger guys are going to be good or not. This kind of speculation happened when Kalis and Magnuson were young too.

        • Comments: 682
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jul 25, 2017 at 1:23 PM

          Three stars have less of a chance of being good at the level we need to be at than 4 stars or 5 stars. Period. Please don’t dredge that long debunked argument up again.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jul 25, 2017 at 1:59 PM

            It’s a long debunked argument that people thought Kalis and Magnuson and Kugler were going to be really good in large part because their rankings? News to me.

            It’s well established that recruiting rankings don’t correlate very well with performance on the OL. There’s a high degree of variance on rankings at all positions, but it’s significantly higher on the OL.

            Development and talent both matter. On OL the data say that development is particularly important.

            • Comments: 682
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              Jul 25, 2017 at 2:53 PM

              Of course “don’t correlate very well” means they really DO correlate. No matter how much development you’re putting into guys, the undisputed fact is that, exceptions notwithstanding, 5 star recruits will have a higher average performance than 4 stars and 4 stars will be higher on average than 3 stars. If you have evidence to dispute THAT (and not just show that the difference is less than at other positions) let’s see it.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3611
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Jul 25, 2017 at 6:37 PM

              Do you have evidence to prove that for OL specifically?

              I’m not disputing that recruiting rankings “matter” in aggregate. I just think you’re reading way too much in the magnitude of ‘talent’ vis a vis development/coaching. I think this in general but particularly about OL.

              • Comments: 682
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Jul 25, 2017 at 7:01 PM

                You already have the evidence, dude…you quoted it yourself and said that it’s “well established”. Did you not grasp that “don’t correlate very well” means they really DO correlate? Maybe not as much as other positions, but the evidence you cited means that higher rated OL recruits perform better on average in college and beyond than lower rated ones.

                And here’s the thing…the teams we want to be level with, like Alabama and Ohio State, already have top flight player development. They field a NC contending team every year, no matter who graduates, no matter who bolts early for the NFL and no matter who gets injured. AND they’re out-recruiting us on the Oline (and elsewhere). So how do we make up that talent gap if we keep settling for so many second tier OL recruits? I can only listen to “trust the coaches” on so many undeveloped 3 stars before I don’t take it seriously any more.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3611
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Jul 25, 2017 at 7:58 PM

                So – no then?

                I didn’t cite any evidence I speculated. I said it did NOT correlate very well. I did not say it correlated poorly, did not correlate at all, or that it correlated just perfectly.

                I don’t think we can fully trust our OL coaches at this point. Drevno hasn’t impressed me in 2 years at Michigan. Frey was a miracle-worker both at UM and Indiana so I’m optimistic.

                I don’t think recruiting 5-stars on the OL has been particularly helpful for UM in years past. Actually to me it seems like we’ve had better success with 4-star dudes.

                • Comments: 682
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Jul 25, 2017 at 9:36 PM

                  Now you’re just flat-out lying out your ass.

                  “I didn’t cite any evidence”? Can you even read your own post?:

                  “It’s well established that recruiting rankings don’t correlate very well with performance on the OL. There’s a high degree of variance on rankings at all positions, but it’s significantly higher on the OL.”

                  And gee…Alabama lands 5 star recruits on the Oline pretty much every year, sometimes multiple. And they have a killer Oline EVERY YEAR. Coincidence? I think not!

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3611
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jul 25, 2017 at 11:51 PM

                  I made a statement without citing any evidence. You can call me out for that but it’s not a lie to say so.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3611
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jul 25, 2017 at 12:56 PM

      Do you think we need to get more 5 stars who are ready to perform from day 1 like Kyle Kalis and Pat Kugler into the system?

      The OL needs to get better, but recruiting higher rated players isn’t going to resolve the bigger issue of development. You need to recruit 10 guys and, regardless of if they are 3 stars, 4 stars, or 5 stars, you need to turn around half of them into legitimate starting-caliber power conference players.

      • Comments: 682
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jul 25, 2017 at 1:21 PM

        No, we need to get a few guys like Cam Robinson, who can step right in as a true freshman and start every game at left tackle for a national championship level team.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3611
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Jul 25, 2017 at 2:00 PM

          I would say the national championship level team is more important than the getting a true freshman starter at LT.

          We’ve done the freshman starter at LT thing with Cole.

          • Comments: 682
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Jul 25, 2017 at 2:59 PM

            Cole started because we had no one else except Magnuson as a sophomore. Not exactly high level competition.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3611
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Jul 25, 2017 at 6:42 PM

              I think you’re saying that Michigan should recruit like Alabama which is an interesting idea to consider.

              • Comments: 682
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Jul 25, 2017 at 9:32 PM

                Should? “Should” is irrelevant. I’m curious to know how you think we’ll compete on their level if we don’t.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3611
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Jul 25, 2017 at 11:55 PM

                Michigan’s only path to beating OSU or Alabama is by being better coached. They’re not going to win by out-recruiting those schools when they have institutional, ethical, and geographical disadvantages. So they’ll have to out scheme, out work, out develop, or find some other edge elsewhere to beat them out.

                OR (gasp) they’ll have to “out-recruit” by being better at predicting outcomes than recruiting rankings.

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 3611
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 04, 2017 at 1:37 PM

    See below for Drevno comments when asked about RT. Maybe reading too much into it but it seems like JBB is the lead candidate. Runyan “can work over there” sounds like his primary position is OG (which is always what was expected of him anyway). “Maybe” they will move someone who isn’t there now. His statements also indicate they like experience, athleticism, and “understand the offense”. They like what they have and what happened over the summer (presumably not talking about the freshman here). Those things would all seem to favor JBB. Expect him to be your starting RT.

    “You have athletic options with Juwann [Bushell-Beatty] and I know Jon [Runyan Jr.] is one of the more athletic options that you guys have. Could you kind of describe that right tackle position a little bit?

    “Yeah, Juwann and Nolan’s over there. Jon Runyan can work over there. You’ve got Andrew Steuber, Chuck Filiaga. We have some guys to work with there. We feel good about all of them. As we progress through, we’ll see how they understand the offense and if they can think quickly on their feet and their physicality and things but it’s kind of a rotation. May be somebody else swinging over there but it’s so early. We feel very good about the guys that we have. We feel very good about their athleticism and what they did over the summer and things and their understanding of what we’re trying to do so we’re excited about it.”

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3611
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 04, 2017 at 1:39 PM

      Though he did also say it’s “their time to be a starter” and “no one is ahead of them” when asked about Runyan and JBB.

      The question I have is if Runyan is competing more with Kugler/Onwenu or more with JBB.

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