When Olu Oluwatimi announced his transfer to Michigan last December, those both in and outside of the program celebrated the move as a significant addition for an already stout offensive line.
On Sunday, co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Sherrone Moore confirmed Oluwatimi has been living up to the hype.
“First his experience, he’s started 35 games in college football, that’s invaluable experience,” Moore said. “But he’s strong, he’s smart, when he came here it was like he’s been here for four years already. He’s an outstanding young man on and off the field, great human being, but he’s an outstanding player.
“He’s just got a great all around game in what he can do, and obviously his accolades that he had last year speak to that, but he just takes it day by day and tries to get better. He’s really trying to step up and be a leader.”
Coming off three years at Virginia, in which he started 35 games and named a Rimington Award finalist in 2021, Oluwatimi has already garnered a national spotlight without taking a single snap in a maize and blue uniform. In January he was named in the “way-too-early All-American” list by ESPN, and two weeks ago made the preseason watch list for the Rimington Award.
Praise has also come within the Michigan Wolverines’ locker room, with one of his most vocal supporters coming from across the trench in Mazi Smith.
“I haven’t had a center to go up against like him since Cesar Ruiz,” Smith said at Big Ten Media Days. “I love going against guys that that ain’t gonna lay down like Olu. He’s athletic, he’s big, he’s strong, he’s competitive, he’s everything that you want in a center.”
While Oluwatimi is a newcomer to a unit that won the Joe Moore Award for best offensive line last fall, his talent and experience is expected to be a seamless replacement for graduated starter Andrew Vastardis.
“You implement the offense, you see what you got and then you keep going from there,” Moore said. “It’s not just him, but it’s everybody. It’s the whole o-line, it’s the recievers, it’s the running backs, so we know who those players are and continue to shape and mold everything to their strengths.”