Going into Spring - THE OFFENSIVE LINE

According to the new coaching staff, the offensive line is too fat. Being heavy is not a problem so long as the "heaviness" doesn't slow you down. This staff wants offensive linemen who can move and this spring will try to determine who the leaders will be when fall camp arrives in August.

Three players who were playing at year's end, graduated off the offensive line, Pearcy, Murphy, and Bickel. A fourth, Helmcamp, was injured and missed the last four games of the season. A fifth has been given a medical waiver, unable to overcome a persistent shoulder injury, Derek Long. What remains, plus those who redshirted last season will make up the group which will challenge for the top 8 or 9 spots in the rotation.

THE HEIR-APPARENTS

LEFT TACKLE - Quintin Outland, 6-4, 340, Jr-2L - Quintin also started all 12 games last season. As a junior, Quintin should discover his opponents won't be quite so much older and experienced as him, as he discovered since becoming a starter as a freshman. Quintin moves very well for a big man. He could be very solid at LT and just looking for some newcomer to help groom to take over after 2004.

LEFT GUARD - Randy Cornejo, 6-4, 325, Sr-1L - Randy only played in 5 games last season, and was not a starter for any of them. He is, however, the heir-apparent to the position and is likely to get some stiff challenges from the newcomers hungry to find a postion along the line they can win.

CENTER - Cedric Fields, 6-3, 280, Sr-3L - Cedric started and played in all 12 games last season. He had to be relieved on occassion to to a bad ankle, but certainly brings as much or more experience to the table than anyone this spring. The job will be his to lose.

RIGHT GUARD - Lequalan McDonald, 6-5, 365, So-1L - Lequalan played in 11 of 12 games last season, but none as a starter. He did gain valuable experience however, and will be counted on to contribute heavily, but not too heavily. The word is that Lequalan will have to be less to be more and is working towards that goal. He does bring the most experience to the position as starter Antoine Murphy graduated. Murphy's cronic ankle problems last season provided many opportunities for McDonald to play and play he did. He's expected to get some competition from some players who redshirted last year, and his battle of the bulge will go a long way in helping to determine the outcome.

RIGHT TACKLE - no returning players.

THE CHALLENGERS

Glen Oskin, 6-5, 310, So-1L - Glen also played in all 12 games last season providing relief at Left Tackle for Quintin Outland, and gained valuable experience. Glen could stay at LT, or might challenge for one of the guard spots or be the heir-apparent at center. A very versatile lineman, Glen could turn out to be a very valuable commodity.

Brad Schlueter, 6-4, 265, Jr-1L - Brad was injured last season and unable to contribute. His size is only a "best guess" based on former roster specs.

Travis Farst, 6-7, 311, Fr-Rs
Jacob Pittman, 6-7, 336, Fr-Rs
Akeem Rettig, 6-6, 365, Fr-Rs

ALSO ON THE ROSTER

Joseph DeWoody, 6-4, 280, Jr-Sq, Ft. Worth SW Christian
Gavin McKinley, 6-5, 275, Fr-Rs, Amarillo HS
Chris Rogers, 6-6, 370, Fr-Rs, Ft. Worth Country Day

As one can see, there are several holes to fill and not a lot of experience to fill them with. The offensive line will be a challenge for new coach Chris Lancaster. Right now, these young men are under the training and watchful eyes of strength and conditioning coach, John Williams, who's job it is to get them ready for when spring training begins on March 18 - it's less than four weeks away.


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