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4Aug 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #31 Jon Runyan, Jr.

Name: Jon Runyan, Jr.
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 304 lbs.
High school: Philadelphia (PA) St. Joseph’s
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #75
Last year: I ranked Runyan #52 and said he would be a backup offensive guard. He played in one game.
TTB Rating: 73

Runyan wasn’t expected to play much in 2016, and he didn’t. He was athletic but undersized, and the team had a fair number of veterans to play above him (Kyle Kalis, Ben Braden, Patrick Kugler, David Dawson, etc.). He did stand out to me in the spring of 2016 as a guy who could really move, and that skill allows him to have some positional flexibility.

This past spring he was taking reps at right tackle, in an effort to replace Erik Magnuson. Michigan isn’t sure whether Juwann Bushell-Beatty can handle the tackle position, and they have made contingency plans in order to shore up the spot. Bushell-Beatty struggled last year against Rutgers and Wisconsin, and he had injury issues this spring. Runyan was the nominal starting right tackle for the majority of spring, despite only being 6’4″. Bushell-Beatty may get a shot to claim the tackle position, but as a redshirt junior, we know that he’s limited. Runyan has the ability to start at right tackle – which I think will happen sooner or later this year – and also can fill in on the interior.

Prediction: Part-time starter at right tackle; backup offensive guard

3Aug 2017
Blog, homepage 6 comments

2017 Season Countdown: #32 Andrew Robinson

Andrew Robinson (image via Twitter)

Name: Andrew Robinson
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 221 lbs.
High school: Troy (MI) Athens
Position: Long snapper
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #49
Last year: I did not rank Robinson. He played in two games.
TTB Rating: N/A

A funny thing happened over the past year with Michigan’s long snapper position. Maybe it starts with the 2015 Michigan State game, in which a bad punt snap and then a poor decision by the punter led to a loss against the Spartans. But long snapper Scott Sypniewski never seemed to recover the full trust of Michigan’s coaching staff. Robinson played against Hawaii and Rutgers, and some people suggested he was snapping better than Sypniewski in practice. That may be what led Michigan to part ways with Sypniewski, who transferred to Vanderbilt this off-season.

Robinson steps up into the void vacated by Sypniewski. As the backup last year, he’s expected to be the man this year. It shouldn’t be lost that he’s arguably the #2 guy who could be on Michigan’s roster right now, and the actual backup might be the #3 guy. The hope is that the casual fan won’t hear (or at least remember) Robinson’s name, but he’ll be an important piece of the 2017 football team. In limited experience so far, he’s done a good job.

Prediction: Starting long snapper

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