The All-Hoke Team: Offense

Tag: Mark Huyge

5Dec 2014
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The All-Hoke Team: Offense

Denard Robinson

You may or may not remember when I put together an all-star team for Rich Rodriguez’s tenure (OFFENSE, DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS). Well, here’s the Brady Hoke version. I patched together a pretty good team from the four seasons that Hoke was the head man in Ann Arbor.

QB: Devin Gardner (2013)
208-for-345 passing, 60.3%, 2960 yards, 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions
165 carries for 483 yards, 2.9 yards/carry, 11 touchdowns
This may be an unpopular choice, but Gardner had some brilliant games (Notre Dame, Indiana, Ohio State) during the 2013 campaign. He ended the year as Michigan’s second-leading rusher and showed some great potential. The Notre Dame victory was exhilarating, he threw for 503 yards (a Michigan record) against Indiana, and played great against Ohio State despite a broken foot for part of the game.

RB: Denard Robinson (2012)
177 carries, 1266 yards, 7.2 yards/carry, 7 touchdowns
I’m cheating a bit here by putting Robinson at running back, but he did start a few games at the position after he returned from the elbow injury suffered against Nebraska. He broke 100 yards twice in his three games at running back. Even so, he showed enough running skills at the quarterback position to make this essentially a no-brainer. Imagine the running ability of a team with Gardner at QB and Robinson lined up behind him or next to him.

FB: Joe Kerridge (2014)
3 carries, 56 yards, 18.7 yards/carry
6 catches, 53 yards, 8.8 yards/catch
Hoke employed a fullback quite a bit, but his fullbacks didn’t touch the ball a lot. Kerridge set a record for the Hoke era by getting 9 touches, including some critical first downs and a 52-yard run on a fake punt against Maryland.

WR: Jeremy Gallon (2013)
89 catches, 1373 yards, 15.4 yards/catch, 9 touchdowns
Gallon and Gardner had a symbiotic relationship. Gallon didn’t produce a ton before Gardner became the quarterback, and Gardner was unproductive once Gallon graduated. Regardless, Gallon was a record-setter at Michigan with 1,373 yards that season and had 369 yards in a game against Indiana, the highest Big Ten total in history.

WR: Junior Hemingway (2011)
34 catches, 699 yards, 20.6 yards/catch, 4 touchdowns
Hemingway may not have had higher catch or yardage totals than other candidates for this spot, but he made lots of clutch plays and was Denard Robinson’s go-to guy like Gallon was Gardner’s. Hemingway had some huge catches in wins against Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech

TE: Kevin Koger (2011)
23 catches, 244 yards, 10.6 yards/catch, 4 touchdowns
Jake Butt might have more upside, but Koger had better production in 2011 and had the best combination of skills that Hoke had available at the tight end position. Koger could block, catch, and run a little bit. Plus he was named a captain and liked well enough to be asked to be a graduate assistant on the staff.

LT: Taylor Lewan (2012)
13 starts, 1 touchdown
Lewan peaked in 2012 when he was a First Team All-American and dominant all year, including a great showing against eventual #1 pick Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. He also fell on a fumble in the endzone, notching a touchdown against UMass.

LG: Michael Schofield (2011)
10 starts
Schofield, a tackle by trade, earned the starting left guard job when Ricky Barnum was injured. Somewhat surprisingly, he performed very well for a young guy playing an unfamiliar position. He would eventually turn into a 3rd round pick by the Denver Broncos.

C: David Molk (2011)
12 starts
Molk started the first twelve games of the year and sat out the first series of the Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech with an injury he suffered in pre-game warmups. When backup Rocko Khoury struggled with two bad snaps on three plays, Molk entered the game and helped lead the team to a victory. Molk was a First Team All-American and won the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s best center.

RG: Patrick Omameh (2011)
13 starts
Omameh seemed to have a better season in 2011 than 2012, even though he was named First Team All-Big Ten by the coaches in the latter season and not the former. The offensive line protected quarterback Denard Robinson pretty well in 2011 (#34 in sacks allowed), and Omameh helped pave the way for two 1,000-yard rushers (Robinson, running back Fitzgerald Toussaint).

RT: Mark Huyge (2011)
13 starts
With Schofield slotted at left guard, Huyge is really the only choice here. He wasn’t spectacular, but he was solid and never stood out as being a weakness. He, too, was part of the unit that protected the quarterback and helped Toussaint and Robinson run for 1,000 yards each.

23Apr 2014
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Review of 2007 Recruiting: Offensive Linemen

David Molk

Adam Kraus, RS Sr.
Jake Long, RS Sr.
Jeremy Ciulla, RS Jr.
Grant DeBenedictis, RS Jr.
Brett Gallimore, RS Jr.
Alex Mitchell, RS Jr.
Tim McAvoy, RS So.
David Moosman, RS So.
Mark Ortmann, RS So.
Cory Zirbel, RS So.
Justin Boren, So.
Perry Dorrestein, RS Fr.
Stephen Schilling, RS Fr.

Mark Huyge
High school:
 Grand Rapids (MI) Catholic Central
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #65 OT
College: Michigan
Other notable offers: Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan
Scoop: Huyge redshirted as a freshman in 2007. Huyge didn’t play at all during the 2008 season, but he turned into a nine game starter (five at guard, four at tackle) as a redshirt sophomore. He started another seven games at tackle in 2010 and became the full-time starter at right tackle as a fifth year senior in 2011. He was not drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft and his football career appears to be finished.

David Molk
High school:
 Lemont (IL) Lemont
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #5 C
College: Michigan
Other notable offers: Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Scoop: Molk redshirted as a freshman in 2007 but became a full-time starter in 2008 and never looked back. He started four games as a redshirt sophomore in 2009 but was sidelined by foot and knee injuries. As a redshirt junior in 2010, he was First Team All-Big Ten, a Rimington Trophy finalist, and the team’s top lineman after starting all thirteen games. During his fifth year season in 2011, he won the Rimington Trophy and was a First Team All-American. He was drafted in the 7th round (#226 overall) by the San Diego Chargers. He played in twelve games for the Chargers but was released prior to the 2013 season. The Philadelphia Eagles signed him earlier this offseason.

Bryan Bulaga
High school:
 Woodstock (IL) Marian Central Catholic
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #6 OT, #70 overall
College: Iowa
Other notable offers: Nebraska, Wisconsin
Scoop: Bulaga started five games as a freshman in 2007 and was named Freshman All-Big Ten. As a sophomore in 2008, he became the full-time starter at left guard and was named Second Team All-Big Ten. He missed a few games in 2009 but was still named first team all-conference and a First Team All-America. He left Iowa after his true junior year and became a 1st round pick (#23 overall) by the Green Bay Packers in the 2010 NFL Draft. He has been a starter at both right and left tackle in the NFL and was an All-Rookie player in 2011, but he missed the 2013 season due to a torn ACL.

Jaivorio Burkes
High school:
Phoenix (AZ) Moon Valley
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #7 OG
College: Nebraska
Other notable offers: Arizona, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Oregon
Scoop: Burkes started two games as a true freshman in 2007 and four more as a sophomore in 2008, but his career ended before the 2009 season when a medical condition was discovered.

Patrick Crump
High school: Hoover (AL) Hoover
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #20 OG
College: Alabama
Other notable offers: Kentucky, Louisville, Purdue
Scoop: Crump redshirted in 2007 and had some minor knee issues during the spring of 2008, but then he quit football prior to the 2008 season.

John Elliott
High school: East Meadow (NY) East Meadow
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #16 OT
College: Boston College
Other notable offers: Maryland, Rutgers, Virginia, West Virginia
Scoop: Elliott – who is no relation to former Michigan and NFL tackle Jumbo Elliott – redshirted as a freshman in 2007. From what I can gather, he did not continue his football career beyond that season.

Mark Jackson
High school: Cincinnati (OH) Harmony Prep
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #23 prep player
College: Illinois
Other notable offers: Michigan State, Oklahoma, West Virginia
Scoop: Jackson redshirted as a freshman in 2007. He left Illinois for DuPage Junior College in 2008 and then transferred to Glenville State, where he started at left tackle for three consecutive seasons and was named All-WVIAC each year. He was not drafted by the NFL and now plays for the Spokane Shock of the Arena Football League (along with former Michigan defensive tackle Terrance Taylor).

Josh Oglesby
High school: Milwaukee (WI) St. Frances
Ratings: Rivals 5-star, #1 OT, #10 overall
College: Wisconsin
Other notable offers: Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC
Scoop: Oglesby redshirted as a freshman in 2007 before starting three, ten, and two games in the successive seasons, missing portions of each with knee problems. He finally stayed healthy and blossomed as a fifth year senior in 2011 when he started thirteen games and was named First Team All-Big Ten. He went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft and was signed by the Washington Redskins, but his knee problems forced him to fail his physicals and his career ended. He spent 2013 as a graduate assistant at Wisconsin.

Maurkice Pouncey
High school:
 Lakeland (FL) Lakeland
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #15 OG
College: Florida
Other notable offers: Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Nebraska
Scoop: Pouncey started eleven games as a freshman in 2007 and fourteen as a sophomore in 2008. As a true junior in 2009, he was a First Team All-American and All-SEC as Florida’s center, also winning the Rimgton Trophy. He left college early and entered the 2010 NFL Draft, where he was selected in the 1st round (#18 overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was named to the Pro Bowl following the 2010

Michael Pouncey
High school:
 Lakeland (FL) Lakeland
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #16 OG
College: Florida
Other notable offers: Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Nebraska
Scoop: Maurkice’s twin brother, Mike played defensive tackle as a freshman in 2007 due to some injuries on the team, making 8 tackles and 1 interception. As a sophomore in 2008, he started all fourteen games at offensive guard and was named Second Team All-SEC. He became a Second Team All-American as a junior in 2009. Then as a senior in 2010, he moved to center (replacing his brother, who went to the NFL) and became Second Team All-SEC. He was drafted in the 1st round (#15 overall) by the Miami Dolphins in the 2011 NFL Draft. He has started 46 games for the Dolphins from 2011-2013 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2013.

Chaz Ramsey
High school:
 Madison (MS) Central
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #12 OG
College: Auburn
Other notable offers: Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina
Scoop: Ramsey started ten games as a true freshman in 2007 and was named to the SEC All-Freshman team, also earning Honorable Mention Freshman All-America. Ramsey injured his back prior to the 2008 season, which ended his career; that injury instigated a lawsuit against Auburn’s athletic trainer, whom Ramsey blamed for the permanent injury during his rehab.

Matt Romine
High school: Tulsa (OK) Union
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #3 OT, #55 overall
College: Notre Dame
Other notable offers: Florida, Miami, Oklahoma
Scoop: Romine played sparingly as a freshman in 2007, which garnered him a redshirt, and then was a backup for the next two years. As a redshirt junior in 2010, he made three starts in the middle of the year. He was a grad year transfer to Tulsa in 2011 and started all thirteen games that season. He was not drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft and was not picked up by a pro team, as far as I can tell.

Darris Sawtelle
High school: Birmingham (MI) Brother Rice
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #10 OT,
College: Tennessee Grand Valley State
Other notable offers: Michigan State, Nebraska
Scoop: Sawtelle redshirted at Tennessee in 2007 and did not see game action in 2008. When Lane Kiffin was hired at Tennessee, he and Sawtelle didn’t see eye to eye, so Sawtelle transferred to Grand Valley State in 2009. He played ten games that season but appears to have left the team prior to 2010.

Mitchell Schwartz
High school: Pacific Palisades (CA) Palisades
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #27 OT
College: Cal
Other notable offers: Oregon, Stanford, Virginia
Scoop: Schwartz redshirted in 2007 but immediately drew into the lineup as a redshirt freshman, starting the next 51 games of his career at Cal. He was Second Team All-Pac 10 as a redshirt junior in 2010 and moved up to First Team as a fifth year senior in 2011. He was a 2nd round pick (#37 overall) by the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 NFL Draft. He has started all 32 games of his pro career.

Derek Sherrod
High school: Columbus (MS) Caledonia
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #13 OT
College: Mississippi State
Other notable offers: Florida, Miami, Mississippi, Notre Dame
Scoop: Sherrod was a backup as a freshman in 2007 but became a starter for the 2008-2010 seasons, getting the nod at left tackle in his final 36 games. He was First Team All-SEC as a senior in 2010. He was a 1st round pick (#32 overall) by the Green Bay Packers in the 2011 NFL Draft. He has played in just twelve games during his three-year NFL career, partly due to a broken leg that robbed him of part of 2011 and all of 2012.

Donald Stephenson
High school: Blue Springs (MO) Blue Springs
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #34 OT
College: Oklahoma
Other notable offers: Missouri, Nebraska
Scoop: Stephenson redshirted as a freshman in 2007 before playing in seven games as a backup in 2008. He missed the 2009 season, partially due to injury, but returned to start ten games in 2010 and total 103 knockdown blocks, which was second on Oklahoma’s line. As a fifth year senior in 2011, he was Honorable Mention All-Big 12. He was drafted in the 3rd round (#74 overall) by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2012 NFL Draft, and he has started 14 games over the last two seasons.

Stefen Wisniewski
High school:
 Pittsburgh (PA) Central Catholic
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #8 OG
College: Penn State
Other notable offers: Georgia Tech, Northwestern, West Virginia
Scoop: Wisniewski played in eight games and started one as a true freshman in 2007, earning him Freshman All-Big Ten honors. He became a full-time starter at right guard for the 2008 season. Moving from guard to center for his junior year in 2009, Wisniewski was named First Team All-Big Ten. Not only did he maintain that status a year later, but he added First Team All-America in 2010. He was selected in the 2nd round (#45 overall) by the Oakland Raiders in the 2011 NFL Draft and has started all 45 games he has played since entering the league, both at guard and center.

Lee Ziemba
High school: Rogers (AR) Rogers
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #4 OT, 61 overall
College: Auburn
Other notable offers: Arkansas, Nebraska, Notre Dame, USC
Scoop: Ziemba started thirteen games as a true freshman in 2007 and was named a Freshman All-America, and he started twelve more games as a sophomore. With thirteen starts as a junior in 2009, he was named Second Team All-SEC. As a senior in 2010, he was an All-American and First Team All-SEC after starting all fourteen games, and the SEC coaches gave him the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is awarded to the conference’s best blocker. Overall, he started 52 games for Auburn. He was drafted in the 7th round (#244 overall) by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2011 NFL Draft and played six games for them in 2011, but he has not played since then.

Biggest miss: Mike Pouncey. This is a difficult choice because Michigan recruited several good players. I could probably choose Maurkice Pouncey, Stefen Wisniewski, or Bryan Bulaga here, too. However, Michigan got a good center in Molk, so Maurkice Pouncey would have been a luxury, although he could have played guard next to Molk. Wisniewski, too, could have been a guard for Michigan. But Mike Pouncey had success at both guard and center, and while I thought Michigan was able to piece together some quality tackle play over the years, the interior of the line seemed a little more questionable. If you plug in Mike Pouncey at right or left guard during the Rodriguez years, I think that would have helped quite a bit.

Biggest bust: John Elliott. I can find no record of injury or family strife for Elliott, who it appears quit football entirely. Either way, he was the #16 offensive tackle in the country and appears not to have played a single down of college football.

Best in class: Maurkice Pouncey. Really, there are lots of options, as several guys turned into high level draft picks and solid NFL players. Pouncey, though, won the Rimington Trophy, became the #18 pick as a center (which is very high to pick a center), and was a Pro Bowler for his first few years in the league, stopped only by a torn ACL at the beginning of 2013.

26Apr 2012
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2012 NFL Draft Preview: Michigan-style

Mike Martin will probably be the first Wolverine drafted, but not until Friday night

Last year saw only linebacker Jonas Mouton and offensive tackle Steve Schilling get drafted, both by the San Diego Chargers.  It’s no sure thing that Michigan will beat that number this year, especially now that tight end Kevin Koger suffered an Achilles injury.  Here’s a look at the Wolverines who are eligible for the draft:

Mike Martin, DT
Martin is the likely top choice out of Michigan.  He’s 6’1 3/8″, 306 lbs. and ran a 4.86 forty yard dash at the NFL Combine.  He also put up 36 repetitions on the 225 lb. bench press.  Martin is too undersized to play nose tackle in the NFL, but I think he can play as a defensive end in a 3-4 look or as a 3-tech defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense.  Martin is pretty quick and uses leverage very well, and best of all, he’s a hard worker with a good motor.  I don’t know if Martin will be a Pro Bowler, but he could have a ten-year career.
Projection: 3rd round to Chargers

David Molk, C
Molk is 6’0 7/8″, 298 lbs. and ran a 5.2 forty.  The general knock on Molk is that he’s not very big, which is true.  He is very quick, though, and excelled in the zone blocking system run by Rich Rodriguez from 2008-2010.  Molk looks like an NFL backup, but one of the problems with him will be that he doesn’t offer any position flexibility – he’s a center and that’s it.  Lots of teams like their backup centers to be able to be plugged in at guard, too.  I doubt anyone’s going to hand Molk a starting center job, but he could be brought in as the heir apparent to a veteran center or to work in for a zone running team.
Projection: 5th round to Texans

Junior Hemingway, WR
Hemingway is 6’0 7/8″, 225 lbs., and ran a 4.51 forty yard dash at the NFL Combine, which is much faster than I expected him to run.  Hemingway doesn’t play that fast, and his real strength seems to be the timing on his jump balls and his ability to outmuscle opposing receivers.  For a receiver with just average height, 225 lbs. is a lot.  Hemingway struggled with staying healthy early in his career, and his inability to get separation consistently limit him to being a possession receiver at the next level.
Projection: 6th round to Bears

Ryan Van Bergen, DE
Van Bergen is a 6’4 1/2″, 290 lb. defensive end with a 4.99 forty.  He’s a high character guy who has a little bit of surprising athleticism.  He lacks the pass rush abilities to make a star-level impact at the next level, but he could be an Aaron Smith-like defensive end for a 3-4 team or a left/strongside end for a 4-3 team.  I think he might be able to play for five or six years, but his ceiling is probably a journeyman type of career.
Projection: Undrafted

Kevin Koger, TE
Koger measured in at 6’3 3/4″ and 253 lbs. with a 4.8 forty.  He was borderline draftable before hurting his Achilles, so I sincerely doubt whether he’ll get picked.  Koger has decent size and speed, but he’s not a particularly good runner after the catch and his hands are a bit shaky.  He might be able to be a second or third tight end for someone, but I don’t think he’ll ever be a starter.
Projection: Undrafted

Other undrafted players: WR Kelvin Grady, OT Mark Huyge, WR Martavious Odoms, RB Michael Shaw, CB Troy Woolfolk

15Mar 2012
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More Pro Day Results from Ann

Ryan Van Bergen ran a 4.9 forty just two weeks after he “started running full strength;” he posted 31 reps on the bench. “I think I upped my status,” he said.

Kevin Koger put up 21 repetitions but didn’t run the forty due to a “tweaked hamstring.” He still participated in a few drills and caught passes from Cincinnati Bengal Bruce Gradkowski.
Steve Watson ran a 4.6 second forty, which “shocked” even him. “Things are looking up,” he said, presumably talking about his chances of making an NFL roster.
Mark Huyge put on 16 pounds of reportedly good weight and now tips the scales at 311 lbs.
Martin, Hemingway and Molk didn’t participate in very many drills because of their impressive Combine performances and, in Molk’s case, because of a nagging injury.
Update: According to Devin Gardner’s Twitter, Kelvin Grady ran a 4.41 forty, registered a 38 inch vertical and a “4 nothin” shuttle.
27Dec 2011
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Offensive Line Preview: Michigan vs. Virginia Tech

Blake DeChristopher (left) is a four-year starter for Virginia Tech
and head coach Frank Beamer
(image via Washington Post)

Starters: Redshirt sophomore left tackle Taylor Lewan (6’8″, 302) has started every game this season and was voted Second Team All-Big Ten by conference coaches.  Redshirt junior left guard Ricky Barnum (6’3″, 292 lbs.) has started three games this season and remained #1 on the depth chart all season despite missing all or part of the other nine contests.  Fifth year senior center David Molk (6’2″, 286 lbs.) received every conceivable award for a center, including First Team All-America status and the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s top center.  Redshirt junior right guard Patrick Omameh (6’4″, 299 lbs.) has started every game this season.  Fifth year senior right tackle Mark Huyge (6’6″, 302 lbs.) has started every game this year.
Backups: The only backup to see significant playing time this season was redshirt sophomore tackle/guard Michael Schofield (6’7″, 299 lbs.), who actually started more games (9) than Barnum at left guard.  Schofield is a tackle by trade, but with Barnum consistently hurt, the coaches plugged him in and he’s essentially a sixth starter.  The next two backups appear to be redshirt junior tackle Elliott Mealer (6’5″, 310 lbs.) and redshirt junior center Rocko Khoury (6’4″, 287 lbs.), who have played in seven and four games, respectively.

Starters: Fifth year senior left tackle Andrew Lanier (6’5″, 306 lbs.) is a two-year starter at left tackle.  Redshirt junior left guard Greg Nosal (6’6″, 297 lbs.) has started every game for the past two seasons and was Honorable Mention All-ACC in 2011.  Redshirt sophomore center Andrew Miller (6’4″, 290 lbs.) has started every game this season.  Fifth year senior right guard Jaymes Brooks (6’2″, 307) is a three-year starter and two-time Second Team All-ACC selection.  Fifth year senior right tackle Blake DeChristopher (6’5″, 311 lbs.) is a four-year starter with 50 career starts, was a First Team All-ACC selection and earned the ACC’s top award for offensive linemen.
Backups: True freshman Caleb Farris (6’3″, 309 lbs.) has played in four games as a backup offensive center.  Redshirt junior Michael Via (6’7″, 292 lbs.) has played in eleven games as a backup guard and center this year, and also has past experience at tackle.  Redshirt junior Nick Becton (6’6″, 326 lbs.) has played in every game at offensive tackle.  Via and Becton appear to be in line for starting jobs next season.

Michigan’s starters average a shade under 6’4″ and about 294 lbs.  Virginia Tech’s starters are a shade under 6’4″ and about 302 lbs.  In addition to size, the Hokies also have a slight advantage in experience, with an average experience level of 4.4 years; Michigan’s starters average 4.2 with Barnum counted as the starter and 4.0 if Schofield earns the nod.  It’s a slight advantage, but an advantage nonetheless.  Virginia Tech’s linemen have 158 starts total, or 31.6 on average.  Michigan’s linemen have 123 starts among them, or 24.6 on average.  That means the average Hokie lineman has started for half a season longer than Michigan’s, and if you look at the following list, the only position Michigan has an experience advantage over VT is at center, where Molk’s 41 starts and Rimington Trophy hold an obvious edge over redshirt sophomore Miller:

Lewan: 21 starts
Barnum: 3 starts
Molk: 41 starts
Omameh: 28 starts
Huyge: 28 starts

Lanier: 27 starts
Nosal: 28 starts
Miller: 13 starts
Brooks: 40 starts
DeChristopher: 50 starts

Michigan might have more talent due to playing in the Big Ten, but experience is a key component in offensive line development, so . . .

Advantage: Virginia Tech