After nearly four and a half years of work by Elliott Mealer's and a few months of speculation by the media, it seems as though Mealer has pulled ahead in the left guard battle.
"I think Elliott Mealer has really done a nice job and I think right now, if we were playing tomorrow, he'd be the guy," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. "His work ethic, his leadership, I think the maturation process. I'm really excited for Elliott."
Coaches have noticed Mealer playing faster and using better technique, which has helped him separate himself. But a main factor has been Mealer's confidence, according to Hoke.
Redshirt sophomore Joey Burzynski and freshman Kyle Kalis continue to compete with Mealer. Hoke mentioned that offensive line coach Darrell Funk has been moving around players to find which players can play the best at each position and which group plays the best together.
Roy is coming a(round…tree)
Hoke said he thinks its probable that senior wide receiver Roy Roundtree will be available for the Alabama game. Roundtree ran on Tuesday and was in full pads today working with the trainers.
Toussaint, Clark still suspended
"He has to demonstrate that he'll do the right things," Hoke said of what Toussaint needs to do to be reinstated.
And the same is expected of Clark.
"He's in the same boat [as Toussaint]," Hoke said. "They both have an oar."
Both Clark and Toussaint are still taking reps, but Hoke did mention that they're working on developing other players still. Whether or not those players will take the starting roles against Alabama remains to be seen.
From Glick Fieldhouse to Ford Field
The Wolverines haven't played in a dome since the AllState Sugar Bowl last season, but on Wednesday the team will travel to Detroit to practice at Ford Field, another domed stadium, to help prepare for playing in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
"I think it's going to help prepare us to just get a feel for playing in a dome," center Ricky Barnum said. "I’m excited for it. I think it's going to be fun."
Hoke has also been piping music and crowd noise into the practice field to help simulate what the Wolverines might face against Alabama. But the players do believe the change of scenery and playing under a dome will help them out.
"I think that's going to help us a tremendous amount, just being in that atmosphere, being in the indoor facility," sophomore cornerback Blake Countess said. "I think it's really going to help us."