2019 Season Countdown: #36 Stephen Spanellis

2019 Season Countdown: #36 Stephen Spanellis

July 29, 2019
Stephen Spanellis (image via Michigan Daily)

Name: Stephen Spanellis
300 lbs.
High school:
Baltimore (MD) Gilman
Offensive guard/center
Redshirt junior
Jersey number:
Last year:
I ranked Spanellis #36 and said he would be a backup guard/center (LINK). He played in five games on offense and thirteen on special teams.
TTB Rating:

This was an accident, but coincidences like these are inevitable when doing a countdown of about 100 people. Last year Spanellis was #36 in the countdown, and this year he is, too.

Sufficiently amazed?

Okay, moving on.

Spanellis is Michigan’s most experienced backup lineman going into the 2019 season. He has played in 26 games altogether and 11 along the offensive line. There was some talk coming out of last season that he would probably replaced Mike Onwenu at right guard unless Onwenu stepped up his game. In positive news for the team, Onwenu is reportedly in the best shape of his career going into his senior year.

Even though talk of Spanellis starting has dissipated, he will still be a key backup. He’s the #2 center on the depth chart and has spent considerable time at right guard, though if he’s the sixth-best guy, the coaching staff would probably insert him at left guard if the need arose, too. (He probably lacks the foot speed to play tackle.) The 2019 season will be an audition of sorts for Spanellis, who has the chance to get a foothold on a starting position in 2020; once Onwenu and left guard Ben Bredeson graduate (and perhaps if Cesar Ruiz leaves for the NFL), there will be two to three spots open on the interior line.

Prediction: Backup guard/center


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Jul 29, 2019 at 11:52 PM

    Here’s a guy we’d hate to see (Ruiz is probably injured), but relieved to have around

    Hopefully we blow a few teams away, and spanelis gets some snaps

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jul 30, 2019 at 12:20 PM

    In recent years would have put the 6th or 7th OL higher than this but with the depth solidified and high level starters ahead this feels right. Hasn’t played much for a senior but seems valuable as a quality veteran backup.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 182
      Joined: 9/15/2015
      Jul 30, 2019 at 3:19 PM

      very valuable. you always want to see young talent develop and force their way onto the field but its also huge to have a handful of experienced older guys you trust in a pinch. swing players like spanellis or guys like gil (or furbursh last year or glasgow this year) who can handle multiple spots or fill multiple roles really add value.
      im a huge advocate of guys cross training at multiple positions and michigan recruits a lot of smart kids willing and able to handle it so its a nice benefit

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Jul 30, 2019 at 10:35 PM

        agree. solid vets can make big contributions over the course of a year. we’ll see if Spanellis fits the bill.

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