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Chuck Filiaga’s career at Michigan, outlook for 2021

With playing time up for grabs, Filiaga has a large opportunity.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 21 Michigan at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Chuck Filiaga may have been one of the most affected players by the shortened season in 2020. Having been buried on the depth chart his first three years in Ann Arbor, Filiaga finally got the opportunity to start consistently in 2020 and had mixed results. Heading into 2021, Filiaga is slated to compete for the left guard spot and has all the opportunity in the world to make an impact at Michigan.

The story so far

Chuck committed to Michigan at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game in January of 2017 and was a massive addition to the 2017 class. Recruited by Tim Drevno, Filiaga was a huge commitment as he was being recruited by Oklahoma, Alabama, Oregon, Texas, and USC just to name a few. He was the sixth and final member of the offensive line haul in 2017, of which only three remain. It’s hard to believe that Filiaga still has two years of eligibility remaining while Cesar Ruiz, his classmate, has already completed an entire year in the NFL.

After redshirting in 2017 (as most offensive linemen do), Filiaga saw special teams snaps in 2018 along with a few spot snaps at guard. 2019 was more of the same as he remained behind on the depth chart. While he appeared in 12 games that season, only four of those appearances were on the offensive line. However, it’s hard to blame him given that he was playing behind four linemen who were all drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft in Cesar Ruiz, Ben Bredeson, Jon Runyan, and Michael Onwenu. Finally, in 2020 Filiaga had a clear path to playing time as an upperclassman. He started in all six games at left guard with middling results.

Outlook moving forward

While Filiaga came to Ann Arbor with all the potential in the world, he is beginning to run short on time to make an impact at Michigan. Though understandably stuck behind a log-jam at guard for a majority of his career so far, the path is finally clear for him to make an impact.

2021 has the feel of a make-or-break year for Chuck as rumors have already started to swirl that he may have been supplanted by Trevor Keegan on the depth chart. Obviously, being passed up by a player younger than you on the depth chart is not promising. With that being said, I’m still optimistic about Filiaga’s ability and physical presence as a mauler on the offensive line. I believe there is a spot for him on the field this year. It’s up to him how big of a role he can carve out for himself.