Michigan is hiring Ben Herbert to succeed Kevin Tolbert as the strength and conditioning coordinator. Herbert was previously at Wisconsin and Arkansas, spending a lot of time with Bret Bielema, who was fired from at the end of the regular season.
I’m not knowledgeable enough in the area of strength coaches to know who was available or interested, but I was hoping Michigan would hire someone from a physical program, and Wisconsin and Arkansas both count. Here’s a link to Herbert’s bio on the Arkansas website (LINK).
I think Michigan has been caught in a No Man’s Land lately when it comes to the offensive line, which is the biggest spot that needs to be shored up from an S&C standpoint. They don’t have an identity. Do they want to be thin and athletic to run inside/outside zone? Do they want to be huge to run power and inside zone? Or do they want to be somewhere in between so they can run a variety of things?
Here’s Arkansas’ starting line in 2017:
LT: 6’6″, 298
LG: 6’4″, 311
C: 6’1″, 309
RG: 6’4″, 333
RT: 6’6″, 335
Michigan’s starting line in 2017:
LT: 6’5″, 305
LG: 6’5″, 310
C: 6’6″, 302
RG: 6’3″, 315
RT: 6’5″, 325
That’s an average of 317.2 lbs. for Arkansas, and it’s 311 lbs. for Michigan. That’s only about a 6 lb. difference, but why was Arkansas’ 6’1″ center heavier than Michigan’s 6’6″ center? Why isn’t a guy with Ben Bredeson’s frame playing guard around 320 lbs.?
For the record, I’m okay with having beefy inside guys paired with more athletic tackles, but Michigan hasn’t had that over the past few years. They’ve had a bunch of guard types playing tackle, and they’re neither athletic enough on the edge to hold up against pass rushers nor strong enough to get a push up the middle on combo blocks. If you’re going to roll a bunch of guards out there as your entire offensive line, then you might as well have them bulky enough to get a push. Because when you establish the running game, it slows down the pass rush enough that it can get the defense a half step out of position, thus allowing your slightly less athletic offensive linemen to do what they need to do.
This should be a solid hire for Michigan going forward.