Michigan’s lone offensive line commitment in 2010 is early enrollee Christian Pace. Pace comes out of Avon Lake, OH, and is likely a center. He could also play guard, but considering Michigan’s depth at guard (Patrick Omameh, Elliott Mealer, Ricky Barnum, Quinton Washington, and Mark Huyge all have at least two years of eligibility remaining), the more pressing need in the 2010 class was a center.
Predictions: As long as two-year starting center David Molk can return from his torn ACL healthily, Molk and his immediate backup, Rocko Khoury, should hold down the fort. Mealer has also practiced at center, and Barnum was a center in high school, so there’s no reason Pace should play in 2010. But when the center position opens up in 2012 after Molk graduates, I expect an all-out battle between a fifth year senior Khoury and a redshirt sophomore Pace. Pace has the athleticism to be an all-conference center as a starter.
Grade: C-. Pace will be a good player, but Michigan needed more linemen in the class of 2010. Once Steve Schilling and Perry Dorrestein graduate after the 2010 season, only ten scholarship linemen will remain on the roster. Not only does that set Michigan up for an inexperienced line in a few years, but it forces Rich Rodriguez to devote a significant amount (4-5) of his small 2011 class (13-14 as of now) to the offensive line.
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