The Five Best Offensive Linemen Under Jim Harbaugh
Michigan has had quite a few solid offensive linemen under Jim Harbaugh and with five of them on the field at the same time, it's tricky to pare down to a top five.
As Harbaugh prepares for his sixth season as Michigan's head coach, we're taking a look at the five best offensive linemen during his five-year tenure.
1. Mason Cole
Cole became the first true freshman to start a season opener at Michigan when he took the field at left tackle against Appalachian State in 2014. He made 51 consecutive starts along the offensive line and was versatile enough to start out at left tackle as a freshman and move to center, where he now plays in the NFL. He was a three-time All-Big Ten honoree and an All-Big Ten selection by the Associated Press over the course of his career. I think because of Cole's ability out of the gate, and overall athleticism and versatility, he's the best offensive lineman who has played under Jim Harbaugh.
2. Ben Bredeson
I have Bredeson at No. 2, only because of Cole's position versatility. I'm sure Bredeson could've played center, but he locked down the left guard spot so well that it truly became his spot. He took over as a starter four games into his freshman season and never looked back rattling off 46 consecutive starts. He was considered an All-American last year and was a three-time All-Big Ten honoree. He was also a two-time All-Big Ten selection by the Associated Press. Because of the way he played and practiced, he was also twice voted a team captain by his teammates.
3. Cesar Ruiz
Coming in at No. 3 is Cesar Ruiz, another very versatile player who got it going early in his career. About halfway through his freshman season, Ruiz took over as a starter at right guard while Mason Cole held down the center spot. Once Cole moved on, Ruiz was the guy at center, starting 26 games at the position. Ruiz was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree while at U-M and recently left early to pursue his dreams of playing in the NFL. He's expected to be drafted somewhere in the top 40 picks of next month's draft.
4. Graham Glasgow
As a former walk-on, Glasgow outplayed expectations in a massive way. He ended up making 37 starts at center and guard for the Wolverines and was twice named an All-Big Ten honoree. After the 2015 season, Glasgow won Michigan's Hugh R. Rader Memorial Trophy, which was given to the most valuable offensive lineman.
5. Jon Runyan Jr.
Runyan Jr. wasn't a very touted recruit so to play how he did at Michigan is pretty special. He only started one game over the first three years of his Michigan career but became a mainstay in 2018 and 2019. He was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree and and All-Big Ten Selection by the Associated Press in 2018. He was actually a two-time recipient of the Hugh H. Rader Memorial Award given to the team's top offensive lineman, joining his father, Jon Runyan as U-M's only father-son duo to win the award. He ended up appearing in in 34 games, with 26 career starts.