Settled In At RT, Michigan’s Andrew Stueber Is Playing His Best Football


Michigan Wolverines football’s unsung hero on offense is redshirt junior right tackle Andrew Stueber.

The fifth-year player’s 76.4 overall PFF grade leads the team’s offensive linemen, and his 82.4 pass-blocking rating slots third in the Big Ten and 25th in the FBS. He’s allowed just one pressure in 134 pass-blocking snaps for the season.

He’s only getting better and better, too. Despite being a veteran, Stueber has only started 14 career games, after missing the entire 2019 season with an injury and becoming a full-time starter for the first time during the shortened 2020 campaign. On top of that, he moved around from guard to tackle last season, before settling in at right tackle for good this year.

Garnering attention from the NFL while impressing through six games, Stueber believes his success this season is a cumulation of his past experiences. An active learner, he didn’t play guard without being aware of how that position could help him as a tackle, and vice versa. Now, it’s paying off.

“Overall, being able to play guard and tackle last year gave me a different perspective,” Stueber explained. “Obviously, I had played guard a little bit in the past, but I never played it in a game, really. So taking what I know at guard now, translating that to tackle, I know what the guards need more, and it gave me more of a perspective.”

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Michigan Wolverines football right tackle Andrew Stueber’s 69.9 run-blocking grade ranks third on the team, per PFF. (AP Images)

Knowing how to make life easier on the guard playing inside him was a benefit for the Wolverines in their last game at Nebraska. Due to injuries, four different linemen — redshirt junior Chuck Filiaga, second-year freshman Zak Zinter, redshirt freshman Karsen Barnhart and second-year freshman Reece Atteberry — all saw snaps at right guard, and all did a good enough job for the team to pull out a 32-29 win.

“I’m super proud of everyone on the O-line,” Stueber said “They stepped up there. I think I looked over five times, four times, and saw a different player playing next to me, but I have full confidence, and [co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach] [Sherrone] Moore has full confidence — and it showed.

“They went in there, and we didn’t skip a beat. They knew exactly what they were doing. They came off the ball full speed, and I think that’s a huge testament to Coach Moore and how he prepares everyone to play.”

Stueber’s leadership also shined through.

“My first start was on the road in kind of a big game, so I always tell them, you’ve got to be ready in the moment,” he said. “These games get crazy, especially in a travel game where there are less people. So you have to be ready when your name gets called, and sure enough a lot of guys’ names did get called — and they all responded great.”

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A new position coach in Moore, who was promoted from his post as tight ends coach this past offseason, has also given Stueber a big boost. The tackle has long raved about Moore’s impact, which has led him and the other linemen to understand schematics at a deeper level. Pass protection has been his strength, and that greater knowledge is leading to clean play.

“I took it upon myself to get better at reading defenses and knowing more schemes of what defenses play,” Stueber said. “I’ve got better at learning what the defenses are doing and what they want to do, and then pairing that with technique, building my footwork, and building my hands. Keeping myself from leaning was a big problem I had in the past, but I think I’ve done a great job of fixing that.

“Coach Moore has done a great job helping me. [Graduate assistant] Coach [Grant] Newsome has done a great job, too. Those two coaches, along with those factors, have really helped my pass protection game.”

When asked about the 2020 season in which the Wolverines, riddled by opt-outs and injuries, posted a 2-4 record, Stueber wasn’t very interested in discussing the year, other than to say: “It just wasn’t college football and it wasn’t us,” naming several different factors (no fans, lack of practice time, etc.) for the oddity.

This year, the Maize and Blue are ranked sixth in the country and have a chance to win multiple championships in the back half of the season and beyond. Stueber said the high level of parity across college football this season is stirring, and he’s glad the Wolverines get a chance to take their shot over the next several weeks.

“I’m kind of excited to see how college football plays out this year, and excited to be in the mix,” he said. “Hopefully we can keep climbing.”

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