Army Spring Depth Chart Review: OG

Army was the first in the FBS to complete spring drills. ArmySports.com's Jim Lawler will review each Black Knight position to project a starter, a backup and a player to watch. Today he'll discuss the offensive guard position.

GUARDS
Starters: LG Stephen Shumaker #70 Jr., RG Matt Hugenberg #54 So.
Backups: LG John Szott #77 Sr., RG Richard Rainey #74 Sr.
Third String: LG Will Butler #56 So., RG Taylor Harrison #67 So.


Junior Stephen Shumaker was moved to left guard from right guard where he played last fall. Stephen was moved so both he and Matt Hugenberg, who is left handed, can play with their dominate hand down. He earned second team All-Independent honors from Phil Steele. Shumaker has a short, fire hydrant type build. He did a solid job in his first year as starter. Shumaker is a good technician but at times tends to over-analyze his blocking responsibility on the second level. He looked more relaxed this spring. Shumaker was more aggressive off the ball and made better use his quickness.

Senior John Szott is backing up Shumaker. Szott played in all twelve games as a reserve last season. He is a 6-3, 280 pounds guard who is powerful and plays a physical game. Szott understands blocking angles and can execute his blocks. Szott moves fairly well but isn't as athletic as Shumaker and doesn't get to the linebackers as quickly.

Sophomore Will Butler (6-3, 240) is a raw recruit with a nice upside. He appeared on both sides of the ball at the United States Military Academy Prep School in 2011. Butler has the frame to potentially add more muscle. He has a very good general skill set and can bench press over 400 pounds. Butler is very athletic and runs rather well for a lineman. Another sophomore, Chris Smythe, was moved from defensive tackle where he played at USMAPS in 2011 to offensive guard. Smythe (6-0, 265) was moved to offense when he proved to be more adept at making blocks on offense than at getting off blocks on defense.

New sophomore right guard Matt Hugenberg bypassed more experience players that were ahead of him at the start of spring to earn the job. Matt is a 6-5, 285 pound player who is much bigger than the traditional Army option guard. He is very strong physically. He is more of a big, traditional style lineman who tries to maul people inside. Hugenberg is the biggest and probably slowest lineman but he has surprisingly good feet and can move and slide. He had to adapt to playing lower and faster in the Black Knights system starting at the prep school in 2011. He's slimmed down and has lost over twenty pounds since last year. He looks a lot quicker in getting to the second level this spring.

Richard Rainey is a 6-5, 266 pound guard who played in all twelve games last year. The senior Rainey has earned one varsity letter. Rainey is a fairly athletic player who can position and wall off defenders.

Sophomore Taylor Harrison (6-2, 270) is another late bloomer who surprised me when he moved up to third string on the depth chart. In 2011 he was a reserve offensive guard USMAPS. Harrison isn't a great natural athlete but he has worked hard and has improved his foot work.

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