It’ll take a lot more than the landing of a Chad Lindsay to cure the woes of Michigan’s offensive line.
However, the addition of a Chad Lindsay—or in this case, the Chad Lindsay who’s looking to transfer from Alabama—would certainly make easier the lives of O-line coach Darrell Funk and head coach Brady Hoke.
And it’d probably ease the transition for offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, the Tide’s ex-OC who coached Lindsay and an incredibly dominant front from 2012 to 2013.
We’re talking about NFL-like O-lines here: Chance Warmack, a guard, went No. 10 overall in the past draft. D.J. Fluker, a tackle, was selected immediately after. At the very least, Nussmeier had one of the closest things to "pro" that you'll see at the collegiate level.
True or False: Chad Lindsay would make an immediate impact on Michigan's O-line.
Lindsay can play guard, has Sunday size and is familiar with his former coach's teachings—these are all positives. However, this past season, the 6’2,” 302-pounder started four games at center, which is an even greater need for the Wolverines, who have nothing but youthful hopefuls to plug in the trenches.
Filling in here and there for two years, Lindsay helped the Tide produce a trio of 1,000-yard rushers. Michigan hasn’t had such a runner since 2011—that’s when Fitz Toussaint broke loose for 1,064 yards as a sophomore.
Just something to think about.
Again Lindsay’s backup resume is just that—a backup’s resume. He spent a total of three years with Nick Saban’s national title factory, which says a lot about his dedication and drive. But his brief history in Tuscaloosa doesn't mean that he'll blow away the Big Ten and be the answer to Hoke's prayers.
Nonetheless, he'd fit in well with the Wolverines, who are an experienced O-line piece away from giving fans a little hope of progress.
Youth, youth, youth. That's the buzz word of the offseason...again. It's time to insert some proof.
Odds of getting the former 'Bama big boy may not be sky high. But they're probably better than 50-50, given his ties with Nussmeier and Michigan's current needs.
On paper, it fits.
As a sophomore, Lindsay played garbage time against the Wolverines. The Tide flooded Hoke at Jerry's World, 41-14, and the young O-liner was essentially a stand-in while the starters took a breather.
But he also saw the field against Auburn and played in Alabama's 2013 BCS title win over Notre Dame. That has to count for something.
Other than the four starts in the middle this past year, he hasn't done a whole lot. And that has to count for something, too. But he's competed against elite foes and knows what it's like to be part of a winning culture.
In all likelihood, Nussmeier and Hoke see Lindsay's upside. Why else would they go after him?
Back in the September, Ryan Kelly, the Tide's starting center, stretched his MCL. Lindsay was pulled from the pen for a relief effort. A proven track record helped Saban call upon the relatively inexperienced hopeful, via AL.com's Andrew Gribble:
"Chad has been in the program. He's a hard worker. He's a strong guy, very smart, understands. We have a lot of confidence in Chad, that he can go in there and do the job because he's done a good job for us in the past."
It should be noted that the next game was against Georgia State, hardly a powerhouse. But given the situation at The Big House, Lindsay is an ideal transfer candidate. He couldn't arrive in Ann Arbor any sooner.
What Does Team 135 Have?
Roster via MGoBlue (other than Graham Glasgow, a 6'6," 308-pound redshirt junior, the majority of the O-line lacks game-time experience).
Ordinarily, one backup from an SEC school wouldn't ignite an overnight change for any offensive line. But this isn't just any line, it's the ailing, hobbling and barely surviving front that faces a make-or-break season in 2014.
A year ago, it didn't protect quarterback Devin Gardner, who was sacked 34 times, the third-most among FBS signal-callers. It didn't produce a 1,000-yard back, either. And Hoke has backs, which is the problem. It's almost painful to watch Michigan struggle while running the ball. That's not supposed to happen in Ann Arbor.
Imagine the sophomore punch of Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith, aided by the services of one Lindsay. That'd give enough reason to expect efficient production on the ground, wouldn't it? At least a little.
Imagine Gardner, more comfortable, roping darts down the field to his set of receivers. Or Shane Morris, your pick.
Also, consider the fact that the Wolverines lose Taylor Lewan, an All-American and surefire first-round left tackle, along with Michael Schofield, a right tackle with pro potential.
Help is necessary. Get Lindsay to do it.
Note: There aren't libraries of online footage of Lindsay, so this recruit video will have to suffice. He can be spotted in Alabama highlights every so often, too. But this recruit-me tape nicely showcases his skills.
During the recent two-year stretch, Tide quarterback AJ McCarron completed 67 percent of his passes, threw for 58 touchdowns, just 10 interceptions and averaged a near-first down per throw.
Granted, McCarron had some assistance; Lindsay wasn't a major factor, but he contributed.
It's just mind-boggling to view statistics from other teams. It serves as a reminder of the miles and miles Michigan must travel in order to get something close to a powerhouse offense, such as the one routinely fielded by Saban each season.
Ohio State enters Chad Lindsay race, as Michigan transfer target will visit Columbus, per report http://t.co/DUb34gLjPX— Michigan Sports (@michigansports) April 14, 2014
It appears that Cal and Ohio State are next on the Chad Lindsay graduate school tour. Still like Michigan’s chances. http://t.co/dTy0gJUzGU— Joshua Henschke (@JoshuaHenschke) April 14, 2014
Lindsay is planning on visiting Ohio State, which stands to offer a little more than the Wolverines. The opportunity for a longer playoff run and Big Ten Championship presents itself in Columbus. Right now, it's only an idea at Michigan.
Lindsay will likely take that into account.
Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.