Michigan hasn’t had any trouble attracting top talent at interior offensive linemen positions to Ann Arbor over the past two decades.
Of the top 10 interior linemen the program has signed since 2000, nine were ranked among the top 100 prospects in their respective classes, per 247Sports’ composite rankings.
Four of those players came in the 2013 class, which ranked No. 4 nationally under Brady Hoke. But once arriving in Ann Arbor, these top players experienced a varying degree of success.
Five earned all-Big Ten honors at Michigan, including two players who were drafted in April. A couple others ended up finishing their collegiate careers at other schools.
Here are Michigan’s top 10 interior linemen recruits since 2000.
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10. Chris Fox (class of 2013)
Overall ranking: No.109
Fox was the fifth-ranked offensive guard in his class and appeared in one game his first two seasons in Ann Arbor. However, he medically retired from football in 2015 but remained with the team as a student assistant coach.
9. David Dawson (class of 2013)
Overall ranking: No. 96
The four-star prospect from Detroit Cass Tech redshirted in 2013 and then appeared in 16 games over the next three seasons, but he never earned a starting role. He transferred to Iowa State in 2017 but left the program about a week into camp after learning his girlfriend was pregnant. Dawson spent his final year of eligibility at Grand Valley State in 2018 as a graduate transfer.
He was the No. 4 guard coming out of high school.
8. Michael Onwenu (class of 2016)
Overall ranking: No. 47
Onwenu, another Cass Tech graduate, was one of four Michigan offensive linemen selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, going to the New England Patriots in the sixth round. He played 40 career games at guard for the Wolverines, starting 35. He was an all-Big Ten selection as a junior and senior.
Onwenu was the fourth-ranked guard in 2016.
7. Kyle Bosch (class of 2013)
Overall ranking: No. 85
The four-star prospect from St. Francis High in Illinois started three games as a true freshman, but he played in only one game in 2014 because of injury. Bosch transferred to West Virginia, where he was a three-year starter and all-Big 12 selection. He was the third-ranked guard coming out of high school.
6. Alex Mitchell (class of 2004)
Overall ranking: No. 84
Mitchell started 18 games during his Michigan career. He was the No. 5 guard in his class out of Bay City Central.
5. Patrick Kugler (class of 2013)
Overall ranking: No. 68
Kugler was one of four Michigan offensive linemen signees ranked among the top 110 players in the 2013 class. He earned the starting center job as a fifth-year senior and was an all-Big Ten honorable mention.
Overall, he appeared in 23 games in his career. He was the top-ranked center in the nation coming out of North Allegheny High in Pennsylvania.
4. Kyle Kalis (class of 2012)
Overall ranking: No. 46
Kalis was a steady contributor at right guard throughout his career. He started 43 of the 50 games he appeared in and was an all-Big Ten selection in 2015 and a second-team All-American in 2016. The Ohio native went undrafted in 2017 but signed with the Washington Football Team. He appeared in seven career NFL games.
Kalis was the No. 3 guard out of high school.
3. Justin Boren (class of 2006)
Overall ranking: No. 49
Boren was considered an Ohio State lean early in his recruitment, but the Ohio native ended up signing with the Wolverines. However, he transferred to OSU after Rich Rodriguez took over for Lloyd Carr as head coach.
Boren, the No. 3 guard in the 2006 class, was a two-team all-Big Ten honoree for the Buckeyes.
2. Cesar Ruiz (class of 2017)
Overall ranking: No. 47
It was no surprise when Ruiz was a first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in April. The top-ranked center in his class out of national powerhouse IMG Academy in Florida was a starter all three years at Michigan, earning all-Big Ten honors in 2018 and 2019.
1. Marques Slocum (class of 2005)
Overall ranking: No. 34
The five-star from Philadelphia chose the Wolverines over Michigan State, but he didn’t last long in Ann Arbor. Although listed as a guard by recruiting services, he played along the defensive line at Michigan. Slocum recorded eight tackles in seven games as a sophomore but was dismissed from the team in June 2008 for academic and football-related issues.
Slocum was ranked as the No. 1 guard in the 2005 class.
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