At 6-3, 298 Westerman enters his redshirt freshman season more prepared both physicaly and mentally to handle the offensive guard position on the collegiate level than he was last fall. Much of the reason for that came last season when both Westerman and Greg Robinson worked with the offense instead of on the scout team.
Getting valuable reps with the offense may have been big, but being able to travel to road games and sit in on meetings was one of the biggest advantages for both of the freshmen. Offensive line coach Jeff Grimes said you could see a difference this spring in Westerman and also Robinson because of that.
"I think having them with us last year helped them even though the system is different," Grimes said. "If you're running power you're still running power. That's not different. Some of the schemes we're running there is some carry over.
"Their understanding of my expectations and how I teach a certain technique is far beyond where it would be had they not been with us last year," the offensive line coach added. "I have also been impressed with their desire and their want-to. They've got a lot of things going for them but especially their work ethic and toughness and willingness to do things the right way."
Expected to challenge for one of the starting guard positions this fall, Westerman's future may hinge on what happens at right tackle. With Chad Slade capable of playing guard or tackle, if he works outside it may open the door for Westerman to get his wish of being a starter for the Tigers.