There are many uncertainties surrounding college football right now. The 2020 season is still in jeopardy, and even if a season does occur it might do so with empty stadiums or a limited schedule. Still, it is never too early to take a look at the Michigan depth chart and the players slated to contribute whenever football does resume. Join us as we comb through the roster and answer key questions heading into this fall.
Jack Stewart, RS FR
247 Composite Ranking: 3 stars (OT 43, Overall 573)
2019 Stats: n/a
The more bullets, the better. Michigan grabbed six offensive lineman in 2019 in preparation for the departure of many of its stalwarts up front. That time has come, and now the Wolverines must figure out which players from their myriad of options are ready to step into the various vacancies along the offensive line, with four starting spots open, as well as many backup roles.
Jack Stewart was the lowest ranked of these six offensive lineman, but that does not mean his role in Ann Arbor will be limited. He may not be as much of a certainty as classmates Karsen Barnhart and Nolan Rumler, who both look to have a better shot at finding the field this season, but he is a player that could surprise in the future.
Is there any sort of role for Stewart to fill this fall?
Though Stewart was listed as a tackle coming out of high school, he will likely find himself along the interior at Michigan. There are already some legitimate tackle options for both spots, and he does have the flexibility to move inside. As of 2020, there is probably not the need to lock him into any sort of long-term role. Things change all the time, and it is always beneficial to have a player who can fit in at multiple positions.
Stewart is praised for his mobility and agility, which can really be highlighted at one of the guard spots. Like any good lineman, he has good toughness and a solid frame. Coming from a non-hotbed region in New England, he likely will need some seasoning, though. He did not see the field as a true freshman as expected, but that should not be the case this year.
Whenever a team takes that many linemen in one class it guarantees that some will not see the starting lineup. This is not a bad thing, nor is it necessarily the fate of someone like Stewart, but it is good to keep in mind. He is someone that is going to take a little more time to get to a game-ready level, and he is probably hurt by the truncated offseason that is happening right now.
The path to guard is shallower than at tackle, and that should work to Stewart’s favor this year. He could still find a role as a backup tackle as well, but to get some playing time in 2020 he should target the guard spots. Honestly he seems unlikely to start the year very high on the depth chart, but there are so few certainties within the position group right now that anything could happen. This openness is definitely beneficial to players like Stewart who have the versatility to move around.