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Column: Michigan hiring Sherrone Moore shows the Wolverines are prioritizing offensive line play

The OL has been Michigan’s most dominant unit the last few seasons.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Washington at Michigan Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the days since Sherrone Moore got hired to be Michigan’s next head football coach, one video has stuck out to me, and it shows that praise can sometimes come from the most unexpected places.

Minutes after he was officially hired, Big Ten Football’s Twitter account posted a video with former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who broke down how impressed he was with Moore as a coach during The Game back in November.

When discussing Moore’s rise to success, Meyer breaks down how impressive he was as a position coach, offensive coordinator and acting head coach this past season. In particular, Meyer talked in-depth about Moore’s responsibilities in the Ohio State game. To the delight of Michigan fans across the country, the Wolverines rushed for 156 yards and got two scores on the ground despite losing their captain, Zak Zinter, midway through the game.

“Offensive line coach, it’s is the most difficult position to coach,” Meyer said. “You got five guys, that’s the hardest job on the coaching staff — they won the game, sustained drives, without their best offensive lineman.”

As much as it pains me to say it, Meyer is right. Even more impressive is that Moore was working directly with the offensive line, calling plays, coordinating the offense, and occasionally stepping up as head coach in 2023. He never got to focus on offensive line work solely, but he has proved to be pretty damn good at multitasking.

Moore has been leading the offensive line for arguably the most dominant three-year stretch of Michigan football’s modern history. In his time leading that group, the Wolverines won back-to-back Joe Moore awards while developing talented young recruits into powerful people-movers who became the backbone of Michigan’s offensive game plan.

His coaching helped guys like right tackle Andrew Stueber and center Olu Oluwatimi get drafted, and even more Wolverines like Zinter, Trevor Keegan and others should get drafted this spring as well. It makes perfect sense that Michigan’s most dominant unit in the last few seasons has been able to produce NFL talent.

You could see how much Moore prioritizes offensive line play in the Penn State win, when he called 32 straight run plays as the Wolverines smashed the Nittany Lions on the ground. You don’t resort to calling that many run plays in a row if you don’t trust your offensive line to dominate, and that’s exactly what Michigan did.

And in the National Championship, the Wolverines relied on their bread and butter. They ran for 303 yards — more than any other team in a National Championship in the CFP and BCS eras — with Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards each finding the end zone twice.

Moore is clearly a fan of smash mouth football, as evidenced by the quote from his introductory presser.

“We will continue to attack each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. And I promise you — we will smash.”

If it wasn’t already clear that Moore prioritizes offensive line play and beating his opponents in the trenches, the first move to his coaching staff is reportedly promoting Grant Newsome to coach the offensive line. It has yet to be officially announced by the university, but it’s clear how much Moore values the position group.

The hire of Moore as head coach was a no-brainer with how he was able to step in for four games this past season, including the two most important regular season games against Penn State and Ohio State. This hire shows Michigan is investing in Moore and prioritizing offensive line play. It’s been their most dominant unit the last few seasons, largely because of the hard work Moore has put in.

Get ready for more smash mouth football, Michigan fans. This is Moore’s identity, and with how successful the Wolverines have been the last three seasons, it’s hard not to be excited about how Michigan’s offensive line continues to develop. Under Moore, the backbone of Michigan football is as strong as it’s ever been; just ask Urban Meyer about it.