O-line backbone of signing class

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan coach Brady Hoke likes to say the game is played in the trenches, on the offensive and defensive lines. He said the offensive line was a place he identified as necessary to recruit more bodies because there were only eight offensive linemen on scholarship when he arrived at Michigan. He prefers to have anywhere from 14 to 16.

So he focused on recruiting there during his first full year as coach. As a result, he was able to pick up four players -- Kyle Kalis, Blake Bars, Ben Braden and Erik Magnuson -- who make up one of the deepest Michigan offensive line classes in recent memory.

"The common thread: These guys are tough, they can run, they can move, they're going to be really good players," offensive line coach Darrell Funk said. "Each of them has a little different skill set, but they're going to be a great line for years to come."