ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan football has to replace four offensive linemen from last season, and Jim Harbaugh revealed the new starting five during his Monday press conference.
Jalen Mayfield and Ryan Hayes will be the starting tackles, which is no surprise since both have prior starting experience.
Mayfield is the only returning starter on the line, and Hayes started the first two games of the 2019 season with Jon Runyan Jr. out due to injury.
Michigan added Mayfield back into the mix after he originally opted out of the 2020 season when the Big Ten postponed it until the spring. He rejoined the team after the conference reversed its decision.
At guard, Andrew Stueber will be one of the starters after an injury erased his 2019 season. Stueber and Mayfield were in a battle for the starting right tackle spot last August before that injury, and now Stueber has moved inside.
Chuck Filiaga, a former four-star recruit and top 120 player in the 2017 recruiting class, will finally get his opportunity as the other starting guard.
Former walk-on O-lineman Andrew Vastardis will start at center as a fifth-year senior. Redshirt freshman Zach Carpenter was thought to be the favorite at center before an offseason injury, but Harbaugh said Vastardis has been a leader on the line for some time.
“He has been the leader on the offensive line for several months, since the season ended, since last year ended,” Harbaugh said.
Hayes will likely start at left tackle, with Mayfield at right tackle, where he played last season. Filiaga and Stueber could play on either side of Vastardis.
Harbaugh also mentioned redshirt freshman Karsen Barnhart, saying he considers him a starter on the line, so he will likely be the next man up if Michigan needs reinforcements.
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