Andrew Vastardis’ early years on the Michigan football team reflected that of a walk-on.
He toiled on the scout team for the first two, devoting most of his practice time to helping the Wolverines’ defense prepare for their upcoming opponent. That meant lots of film study on other teams, and little time to pay attention to what Michigan’s actual offense was doing.
But the last two seasons have allowed the 6-foot-3, 296-pound Vastardis the opportunity to develop. He worked behind former five-star prospect and first-round NFL draft pick Cesar Ruiz at center, earning backup snaps here and there. When Ruiz opted to leave college early, it opened the door to playing time for the Ashburn, Va., native.
“I was gong to stay around as long as I could because this could have been my last chance,” Vastardis, a fifth-year senior, told reporters on Monday. “I felt that I prepared myself as best as I could, grown really close with the coaches and my teammates. It was like a second family here.”
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