Spring Ball Preview: Offensive Line

<p>Every year it seems like the people in the sports media freak out about whether or not Boise State's offensive line will be able to handle the defensive quads that they're going to face. They point to either very few returning starters or lack of experience (too many underclassmen).</p><p>Well, I'm here to tell the "so called" sports media to <b>TAKE A CHILL PILL!!</b></p>

BroncoCountry's Guide to the Big Guys
Here's how we think things will shake out

LT: Daryn Colledge 6'5 300lbs Senior - (Not just a lock to start, but a lock to star, to dominate, and to make lots and lots of $$ in the NFL.  Daryn has been consistently ranked as one of the top OT prospects by Draft Specialists since his Sophomore season.  Last year he was the #2 ranked Non-Senior.  Very easily could become Boise State's first 1st Round draft choice.)

LG: Tad Miller 6'4 305lbs Soph - (Big, young, strong, and with a nasty streak a mile wide.  When we asked some Bronco Defensive players who they hated to go against, they said while Tad is an excellent at the point of attack, they keep their heads on a swivel looking out for him past the line of scrimmage where he simply annihilates Linebackers and DBs.)

C: Joe Wiegand 6'1 286lbs Junior - (He joined the squad and quickly became known as the heir apparent to the Center position, however an injury late in his RSFR season due to a car accident has hampered Weigand from reaching his potential.  Now is his time to shine, with 3 seasons in the system, and a make or break timeline of now or never, look for Joe to step up.

RG: Andrew Woodruff 6'3 324lbs Fresh - (Woody was a relative unknown until he showed up at the Stanford Nike Camp a couple years back.  When he left he had every school in the West clamoring for his services.  Few realized that he was eligible to sign right away, and fewer still had a scholarship available right away.  Boise State got him to ink, and brought him in last January.  Woody's been a Bronco for just over a year now, and from what we've heard it might be next to impossible to keep him off the field come September.  Here's a teaser.. despite his enormous size, Wood was behind only DC in most running and agility competitions.)

RT: Jeff Cavender 6'2 290lbs Soph - (It's impossible to overlook Jeff at RT.  You can't start the entire season of your RSFr season and NOT be worth your weight in gold for the next 3 seasons.  Jeff played well all season, and although he had a rough game against Louisville, he held up well against NFL caliber DE's.. which is all you can ask of a slightly undersized RSFr.  Now, up 20+ pounds over last season's weight, Jeff is a seasoned veteran, and although he'll be pushed hard by those behind him, he's shown that he's up to the challenge.

Every year they give us skepticisms about whether or not we can compete. And yet, over the last four years Boise State's offense has finished either at the top or near it in scoring. And you can't do that unless you have a talented offensive line. It doesn't matter how good your QB, RB's or Receivers are. Unless you have an offensive line that can keep a pass rush off your QB or open holes for your running backs, you're not going to be able to move the ball.

When you start talking about the Boise State offensive line, there is only one name to start with, and one name only. That of course would be the all WAC, all everything, all STUD #73 Daryn Colledge. DC, as Bronco fans like to call him, has started all 38 games of his three-year career at Boise State. And the possibility of that changing for his Senior year is about as likely as Coach Hawkins giving everything up to go coach the Idaho Vandals. While it's true that Coach Hawkins has said many times that each position is up for grabs, I don't see anyone beating DC out of his left tackle position. He in fact will be the corner stone of our Oline. His leadership and experience will be critical to the success of Boise State's offense. Oh, and by the way, Daryn keeps getting stronger and stronger. Just this month he blew away the weight room record in the power clean with a new mark of 438 lbs! The old record was 409 lbs, set in 2004 by none other than……Daryn Colledge.

So why such optimism? Just take a look at the depth chart. Besides Colledge, we have two other returning starters. Tad Miller at left guard and Jeff Cavender at right tackle. Both are sophomores and started all 11 games in 2004. Then you have the other Cavender twin, Pete, who started at right guard for part of the 2004 season (splitting time with 2004 senior M. J. Ansel). That just leaves us with Center for not having a returning starter. 

The excitement about the 2005 Oline is not only the quantity of players but also the QUALITY of the linemen coming into spring ball. The likely backup to DC at left tackle is a very talented 6-6 312 lb freshman named Ryan Clady. Left guard backup is Tony Volponi, a 6-4 299 lb junior. Competing for the starting center position are two juniors, 6-1 286 lb Joe Wiegand and 5-11 288 lb Jadon Dailey, and a sophomore Jeff Biederman at 6-3 282 lbs. Right guard backup is Andrew Woodruff, a 6-3 324 lb freshman. And right tackle shows the backup as being Ryan Keating, a 6-4 318 lb junior.

Boise State's Offensive Line, out from obscurity to the limelight.The thing about this particular depth chart is that just because someone is listed as a backup doesn't mean that's where he'll be come September 3rd. There is so much talent in this line up that Coach Strausser will be hard pressed to get everyone the playing time they truly deserve. This humble Bronco fan feels that players like Clady and Woodruff are just too good to be backups. Don't be surprised if these two players end up in a starting roll. But what about the returning starters?  Well that's the dilemma and possible joy for Coach Strausser. Add to this list of highly capable players a few rumors we're still hearing regarding players possibly being available next season, including new Bronco, (and former West-Virginia OL) Ben Iannacchione, whose eligibility for 2005-06 still hasn't been completely ruled out at this time. 

We have so many players with the skills, talent and drive to be starters that we should be able to rotate our Oline players this year more than ever before. What does that mean? It means our Oline will have fresh legs in the 4th quarter. And what does that mean? Can you say complete and total domination for 4 quarters?

Now you can!

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