New Blue, Logan Tuley-Tillman

Logan Tuley-Tillman, listed as 6'7, 300ish committed to Michigan a few weeks back, during the humongo-monster weekend of commitments. As the weekend wore on Michigan landed its first (Bosch)...then second (Dawson)....then third (Fox) commitment along the offensive line. Worried about not having a spot saved for him, Logan dropped for the maize and blue, a school which I believe he knew he wanted to attend ever since his first visit. It ended a short recruiting saga that had some (prematurely) drawing comparisons to the recruitment of 2012 Auburn Signee Jordan Diamond, another high profile OT who held Michigan in the lead for a long period of time, at the beginning of the recruiting cycle. Instead, he ended up somewhat more like 2012 Michigan Signee James Ross, who enjoyed the process, but decided to call it quits and commit to Michigan when he saw that his spot could be in jeopardy.

Tuley-Tillman is a prospect that boomed, seemingly out of nowhere, after the football season ended. When he visited Michigan for the Ohio State game, he only held offers from Mizzou, Indiana, and Illinois. Once his highlight tape began to make its rounds, his offer list increased both in size and quality. Schools like Alabama, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Arkansas (among others) offered Tuley-Tillman over the course of a few months. He openly declared Michigan to be his leader a few times, then backed away from that, then put them back on top with Alabama, then ultimately committed. I figured it would happen eventually, but not this soon. Either way, he ended up where he wanted to, and it works well with the Wolverine faithful.

Once more, the notion of now having 5 top 200 offensive linemen in the fold cannot be overstated. On top of that, the players seem to all represent a unique position along the line; LTT a LT, Fox a RT, Bosch and Dawson OGs, and Kugler an OC. Some people are questioning how this will change when Shane comes to town. My answer? Probably not much. I think people are over-stating the effect of having a lefty on campus. First of all, during LTT's freshman year, Devin Gardner, a righty, will likely be in command of the offense. If he receives his medical redshirt, you can count on another year after that. A lot of people assume that the transition from LT to RT, LG to RG, or vice versa, is an easy thing to do. These people play Madden too much. Certainly, there are more difficult things to do, like switching a safety into a linebacker, which requires a whole different mentality. However, the players still need time to adjust. They'll change the way they get off the ball, the orientation of their footwork, and even the way they use their hands. The same is true, to a certain extent, for pass rushers on the defensive side of the ball. I've never done serious film study on left handed quarterbacks, but from my personal experience, I've rarely seen coaches flip their defensive line for one game, just to have their premier pass rusher on the blind side. Some teams may be able to do it, but even those should be ably handled from the likes of Chris Fox, if he wins the starting job some time soon.

In any case, LTT is in a good position right now. The staff apparently is intent upon placing 2012 signee Erik Magnuson at LT behind Taylor Lewan, making him the heir apparent. The lack of depth next year could force Magnuson into the two deep (not that I don't think he can handle it), and lose his redshirt. Assuming LTT is able to redshirt during Lewan's RS Senior year (assuming he sticks around), that should put him two years behind Magnuson, allowing him three years to develop, which he desperately needs.

It's not hard to see why Tuley-Tillman garnered the attention he did, during the process. He's a huge kid that moves around as though he's 6 foot, not 6'7 and 280 pounds (in the highlight tape). He's a persistent blocker that won't settle until his man is on the turf. His highlights show a lineman that is highly adept at quickly matriculating to the second line of defenders. However, there are so many technical flaws in his game. He plays high, needs to add significant upper body weight, doesn't use his hands all too well, and seems to bend at his waist more than at his knees. Here is the problem with that, in illustrated form. Still, the upside is there, as is, it seems, the maturity and work ethic to become truly elite.

So there you have it, folks. Tuley-Tillman is a raw super-athlete with a high ceiling, if he works hard and takes well to coaching, which all testimonials seem to indicate. If all goes to plan, you probably won't hear about him for another three to four years, a fact which should please you. All in all, another very solid pickup for the 2013 class.

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