|David Molk (#50) and Taylor Lewan
(image via AnnArbor.com)
Name: David Molk
Weight: 286 lbs.
High school: Lemont High School in Lemont Township, IL
Class: Redshirt senior
Jersey number: #50
Last year: I ranked Molk #1 and said he would be the starting center. He started every game at center.
I hate to think about how bad Michigan could have been over the past three seasons if Lloyd Carr hadn’t recruited Molk to Ann Arbor back in 2007. Molk has started since his redshirt freshman season in 2008, and the only things that have beaten him have been foot and knee injuries suffered in 2009 that cost him eight games. Otherwise, he was a rock for the zone running system implemented by Rich Rodriguez starting in ’08. Molk has often been mentioned as the strongest offensive lineman on the team; that title was briefly stolen by Quinton Washington, who has since moved to defensive tackle. Regardless, Molk complemented that strength with enough intelligence and quickness to be recognized as a first team All-Big Ten center by the conference’s coaches and was a finalist for the Rimington Award, which is given to the nation’s top center.
Molk isn’t necessarily the ideal center for the power running game that new head coach Brady Hoke wants to implement at Michigan (think of someone who’s 6’4″, 310 lbs.), but you can bet that Hoke will enjoy Molk’s presence while he’s giving it one last hurrah for the Maize and Blue. His strength will prevent him from being a detriment on power plays, and his quickness will continue to be an asset while offensive coordinator Al Borges looks to be in the early stages of phasing out the heavy reliance on the zone running game. Molk will spearhead an offensive line that returns four starters (the lone new starter will likely be left guard Ricky Barnum) and the five average out to be in their 4th year of major college football. The five have 67 starts among them, tied for 10th in the country in sacks allowed (11) last season, and paved the way for the #13 rushing offense (3,101 yards). If games are won in the trenches, consider the offensive battle to be a likely victory.
Prediction: Starting offensive center; Second Team All-Big Ten