Mailbag: Addressing the Offensive Line Situation

Tag: Juwann Bushell-Beatty

8Oct 2017
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Michigan State 14, Michigan 10


Let’s start this off with some fun. Some people claim this was a flop. Some people insist it was legit. Watch the gif in the above tweet and tell me whether it was fake. I originally thought it was a flop, but if you look at O’Korn’s name plate on the back of his jersey as he gets up, it’s sort of bunched up and then suddenly seems to get yanked down. That would be a tough thing to fake. Maybe it was a slight pull and O’Korn exaggerated it, but with MSU’s penchant for dirty play, it wouldn’t be surprising at all if someone one the sideline yanked him down as he got up. After all, Chris Frey very clearly threw O’Korn to the ground 8 yards out of bounds on another play, and Jacob Panasiuk ran over O’Korn at the end of an interception return.

Well, that wasn’t exactly a showcase night game. For all the hoopla surrounding night games, when your clunker of an offense puts up 10 points while spending a third of the game in a monsoon, maybe it would be better to have that noon kickoff without quite as many eyeballs. Michigan purposefully held off on having big recruiting weekends so they could have this showcase (here’s the visitors list), and now those recruits who were finally there probably walked away with a sour taste in their mouths.

Hit the jump for the rest of the game recap.

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24Jul 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #39 Juwann Bushell-Beatty

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

28Dec 2016
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Orange Bowl Preview: Michigan Offensive Line vs. Florida State Defensive Line

DeMarcus Walker (image via Jacksonville )



  • LT: Fifth year senior Ben Braden (6’6″, 335 lbs.)
  • LG: Freshman Ben Bredeson (6’5″, 310 lbs.)
  • C: Junior Mason Cole (6’5″, 305 lbs.)
  • RG: Fifth year senior Kyle Kalis (6’5″, 305 lbs.)
  • RT: Fifth year senior Erik Magnuson (6’6″, 305 lbs.)

After suffering a mid-season injury at left tackle, the offensive line was in flux for a while after trying a few different combinations. The players above played the several games together, and they did . . . okay. Michigan is #49 in Adjusted Line Yards and #41 in Power Success Rate, but #114 in Passing Down Line Yards and #80 in Opportunity Rate. They fare better in the passing game (#27 in Adjusted Sack Rate, #26 in sacks allowed), but it’s just a mediocre line altogether. Magnuson was named the team’s lineman of the year by the coaching staff, and Kalis earned some post-season accolades, but that might be more of a lifetime achievement award. Most of the time, the linemen block the right people and stay engaged, but they don’t get a lot of push in the running game and lack some athleticism at the tackle spots.

Key backups: The Wolverines have found a couple solid blocking tight ends in Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. and Devin Asiasi, so the need isn’t there quite as often to play six or seven offensive linemen at a time. However, redshirt junior center/guard Patrick Kugler (6’5″, 303 lbs.) and redshirt sophomore tackle Juwann Bushell-Beatty (6’6″, 311 lbs.) are the primary backups, and Bushell-Beatty has donned an eligible number at times to play a jumbo tight end position.

Hit the jump for a look at Florida State’s defensive line.

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23Oct 2016
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Michigan 41, Illinois 8

Karan Higdon (image via Atlantic Broadband)

Karan Higdon (image via Atlantic Broadband)

Michigan shakes up the offensive line. After the injury to left tackle Grant Newsome a few weeks ago, Michigan has been searching for some consistency on the left side. Redshirt sophomore Juwann Bushell-Beatty was the first player to draw into the lineup in Newsome’s spot. I know some people said he was doing fine, but I saw a guy who was struggling with his assignments. This week the Wolverines started fifth year senior Ben Braden at left tackle and true freshman Ben Bredeson at left guard, which I think is a superior lineup. I said since he committed (LINK) that I think Bushell-Beatty can play left tackle down the road if he manages his body properly, but I also thought he would be a guy to potentially start late in his career, not necessarily as a redshirt sophomore. There are still some things to work on for the future. Meanwhile, I thought the line had a decent day outside of right guard Kyle Kalis, who I think probably played his worst game of the season.

Hit the jump for more in the win vs. Illinois.

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