Ann Arbor has been a factory for left tackles over the past couple seasons. Ryan Hayes’ ascent in 2021 was just the next notch on the wall of a very successful tenure at the offensive line position for Jim Harbaugh and company.
Redshirt freshman Tristan Bounds hopes his name can be the next on the list. At 6-foot-8 and 262 pounds, he has the height and size to be a force if he can put on some more weight. Let’s see where he fits in the fray this season.
The story so far
Bounds was the No. 421 player in the 2021 class and a three-star out of Connecticut. However, the Michigan Wolverines thought much higher of him as he committed in June 2020 after not having a senior season due to COVID. One thing everyone knows is he is a smart kid — offers from Princeton, Dartmouth, and Yale all but confirm that.
He redshirted during the 2021 season, playing in just one game against Northern Illinois. He’s got a long way to go before actually seeing the field but down the line, maybe he can sneak into the rotation of players who get playing time and potentially become a starter.
Outlook for 2022
It surprised no one Bounds redshirted last season. It’s just what this program does with young offensive lineman, especially with as much veteran depth as it had a season ago.
A lot of that depth returns in 2022 on the exterior of the offensive line. Hayes is the starting left tackle, and Trente Jones and Karsen Barnhart will battle for the right tackle gig. After that, there is some room for debate. Jeffrey Persi, Giovanni El Hadi (depending on where he lines up), Andrew Gentry and Bounds will all have a say at being third on the depth chart on either side.
Next season should see some heated battles and tons of competition for starting roles on the offensive line. Hopefully, the injury bug will stay away from an offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award in 2021 and we won’t see much of Bounds in 2022. But definitely keep your eyes peeled for him as we progress towards the 2023 season, as he could find himself right in the thick of an offensive line that will lose a lot of senior depth.