2018 Season Countdown: #36 Stephen Spanellis

2018 Season Countdown: #36 Stephen Spanellis

July 22, 2018

Stephen Spanellis (image via Michigan Daily)

Name: Stephen Spanellis
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 307 lbs.
High school: Baltimore (MD) Gilman
Position: Offensive guard/center
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #72
Last year: I ranked Spanellis #44 and said he would be a backup offensive guard (LINK). He played in 13 games at center, guard, tackle, and elsewhere.
TTB Rating: #63

I believe Spanellis qualifies as what Jim Harbaugh would call “an ascending player.” He redshirted in 2016 and became the team’s jack-of-all-trades extra lineman in 2017. Tom Strobel previously held that role as a tight end and extra lineman, and with Strobel moving on to Ohio, Spanellis found himself inhabiting that spot. He would occasionally wear #97 to line up in the backfield as an extra fullback in goal line packages, too. When Patrick Kugler got hurt in the Outback Bowl, Spanellis ended up taking over the center position while Cesar Ruiz started and played at guard.

In the great¬†All or Nothing season released on Amazon Prime Video this off-season, the production documented the coaching staff taking a look at Spanellis snapping the ball and beginning that transition. Spanellis was a tackle in high school, but he was expected to be a guard in college. Going into this season, he could very well be the #2 center behind sophomore Ruiz. I expect incumbents Ben Bredeson and Michael Onwenu to reprise their roles as the starting guards, but Spanellis is reportedly in competition at right guard with Onwenu, and there’s a chance he wins it. Whether he wins the job or not, I expect him to be a regular contributor, either as a backup or as an extra player for jumbo packages.

Prediction: Backup guard/center


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Jul 22, 2018 at 10:57 AM

    Spenallis will start a game or two, and play a bunch as our 6th OL (if onwenu can hold on)… I’ll be interested to see 35 guys ranked ahead

  2. Painter Smurf
    Comments: 263
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Jul 22, 2018 at 7:03 PM

    could definitely see spanellis turning into a regular starter if onwenu struggles with his play or weight this fall. glad to see spanellis develop quickly enough to be a legit option in year 2. hope some of the 17 OL recruits are on the same path.

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