June 28, 2011

Blake Bars has room to grow

Four-star offensive lineman Blake Bars became Michigan's most recent commitment when he pledged June 26. The Nashville, Tenn., native is already a well-developed prospect but he has room to grow his coach, Marty Euverard, and our special guest film evaluator noted ...

"He's a big kid and he's a kid that has a lot of potential beyond what he's shown, which is plenty," Euverard said. "He's extremely athletic for his size, with really good feet, and maybe the thing that goes unnoticed but I can tell you is he has flexibility - he bends really well for a kid that size."

Euverard has only been the coach at Montgomery Bell Academy for a month and hasn't had a chance to work with Bars closely but he spent the past few years on the opposite sideline coaching against MBA with Battle Ground Academy and had seen enough of the 6-6, 265-pounder to know he didn't want to face him one more time.

"He jumps out at you on film and then in-person he's even more impressive," Euverard said. "He's very aggressive. He comes off the ball with a purpose. He almost can't wait for the snap because he wants to make contact, get into you, drive you back with his physicality. But his feet are pretty nimble for a guy his size.

"He plays left tackle for us but because of his athleticism I could see him moving inside or over to right tackle. It's going to be a process."

While Euverard has only known Bars for a month, he has picked up an important intangible that should help the nation's No. 34 offensive tackle going forward.

"I've been really impressed with his leadership," Euverard said. "He's just a great kid, a great character kid, and there's going to be no slacking off now that he's made his decision.

"I'm really excited to see what he can do for our team in the fall and to watch him continue to grow and develop."

Bars will be coached by former NFL offensive lineman Kevin Mawae, who started for 16 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks (1994-97), New York Jets (1998-2005) and Tennessee Titans (2006-09) and earned eight Pro Bowl nods.

Film Evaluation - Blake Bars

A former Michigan player has volunteered to break down film for TheWolverine.com, beginning today with Blake Bars. He'll tackle Matthew Godin Thursday. Just a little on this player's resume - he was an all-conference first-team performer during his career.

Strengths: Good explosion off the ball, keeps feet moving on contact, does a good job getting to second level blocks. Looks to bury his opponent on most plays - really like that!

Areas To Improve: Blake will need to develop his game to play six inches lower against Big Ten defensive linemen and Big Ten linebacker.

College Projection: RG or RT

Michigan Player Comparison: LT Jeff Backus (1997-2000). Very athletic player with good ability to block at second level, in open space on screens and downfield.

Bottom Line: Blake has all the tools to carry on the tradition of great Michigan offensive linemen. He can move very well for a big man, keeps good balance and foot drive on contact. The college game will force him to play a bit lower but that is typical and not an area of concern.

I always enjoy watching lineman that look to finish their blocks by putting their opponent on their back! Blake plays fast and nasty. I look forward to watching Blake develop into another great Michigan lineman!

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