2016 Season Countdown: #95 Stephen Spanellis

2016 Season Countdown: #95 Stephen Spanellis

May 21, 2016
Stephen Spanellis 937x

Stephen Spanellis (image via MGoFish)

Name: Stephen Spanellis
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 315 lbs.
High school: Baltimore (MD) Gilman
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Spanellis was a senior in high school (LINK).
TTB Rating: 63

Spanellis was offered by Brady Hoke in Hoke’s final fall in Ann Arbor, but then communication fell off between Michigan and Spanellis after the coaching transition. In the meantime, Spanellis committed to Virginia and seemed pretty solid for a long time. But then Jim Harbaugh came calling in January, and things progressed fairly quickly. He visited and committed a couple weeks before National Signing Day.

I have Spanellis listed above as an offensive tackle because that’s the position he played in high school, but he will probably be an offensive guard in college. Either way, Michigan has a decent top three at tackle and top four at offensive guard, or at least decent enough to allow Spanellis to redshirt. Nolan Ulizio looked solid at right tackle in the spring, and Jon Runyan, Jr. held his own at guard, joining David Dawson, Ben Braden, and Kyle Kalis as viable offensive guards. Most linemen redshirt, and Spanellis probably won’t be an exception.

Prediction: Redshirt


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1357
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    May 21, 2016 at 4:43 PM

    I think it’s kind of interesting the difference in type of offensive linemen that Harbaugh/Drevno have brought in to play since their arrival here. Spanelis is kind of a massive plodder that mauls people at the point of attack. He’s never going to be confused with a great athlete. You may be able to speed rush him wide and beat him to the corner, but God forbid he get his hands on you because he’s going to keep his feet driving while he throws you around until you fall down, at which point he is going to fall on top of you and rest until the end of the play. If he fails to make the field, it will be because he can’t get his feet working at the level he’ll need them to be.

    This is also the case with Ulizio who I think has much better feet than Spanelis and who I probably would have ranked in the low 70s on Thunders scale. The kid that nobody else likes except for me, Vastardis very definitely falls into this type. I like him because for a big square kid who looks heavy, he’s a bunch quicker moving laterally than you’d ever expect and is surprisingly good at pulling, which you’d absolutely under no set of circumstances expect watching him line up. I think he plays, and that he gets there before Spanellis.

    And then of course there’s Onwenu who pretty much defines the type ….. only faster. I still say he’s middle guard/nose tackle ….. take your pick. Mostly because I think the conversation is going to go something like this, “Michael, at 325, you are an All Big OG and you will play on Sunday, at 345 you are an All Big Nose Tackle and you will play on Sunday. You pick!” That would be a pretty easy choice for me.

    In any event, after all of that, the point is this, we’re recruiting maulers as opposed to steppers, for lack of a better term. I’m liking it.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      May 22, 2016 at 6:50 AM

      Yeah, there’s a lot less “reach” blocking going on in Harbaugh’s offense, so tackles don’t have to reach defensive ends, centers don’t have to be Molk-quick to reach defensive tackles, etc. I do still think foot speed is important, but not quite so much as from 2008-2010.

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    May 22, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    I think one of freshman OL will probably play, but Spanellis sounds like he’s least likely to be one of them.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      May 22, 2016 at 3:19 PM

      Honestly I’m not sure I’d put Ulizio or Runyan over these freshman. It’s more likely than not all 3 red-shirt, but the coaches openly calling for them to come in and compete tells me they don’t have much faith in the guys currently on the depth chart behind the starting OL.

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