the 2010 edition of the Boise State University Broncos is to achieve its
promise, the boys in the trenches will have to do their jobs:
consistent execution and dominating nastiness are what the fans and
coaching staff expect. The 2010
offensive line brings together a corps of reliable bulwarks, with intriguing
rotation possibilities, which made fall camp competitive and highly
2010 offensive line loses only one member from the 2009 squad, with Kevin Sapien
opting to work as a student-coach due to being worn down by the cruel rigors
placed on linesmen. Kevin's
sacrifice and contributions will be sorely missed this year.
The 2009 offensive line unit enjoyed some of the very best of times,
evidenced in the shockingly few sacks allowed, in the very handsome 5.13 yards
per rush, and in the ability to absorb a multitude of injuries to starters.
But this very same unit also had less than stellar moments, notably in
snap exchanges, third-down conversions, and sequences of futility.
No doubt, the coaching staff only needs to show tape from last year's
Cal-Davis performance to demonstrate to the players just how bad they can
biggest change for the offensive line will be in the position reassignments of
Coaches Chris Strausser and Scott Huff, with Strausser now taking over the
offensive line and Huff leading the tight ends and fullbacks.
Head Coach Chris Petersen routinely has changed position assignments for
his coaching staff, to create new challenges and opportunities for their
professional growth. For the Bronco
offensive linemen, it will give them a chance for a new set of eyes to look for
weaknesses and improvements in techniques.
for the line-up, the variations could be as maddening for the fans to predict as
all the expansion scenarios were this summer.
individuals could be starting at some point of the season, even though ideally,
the coaching staff would gladly settle for a predictable line-up of five.
The one definite slot is at right guard, where senior Will Lawrence (6-2,
293) is the man.
other nearly sure bet is Center Thomas Byrd (5-11, 284, Jr.), who also started
every game for the Broncos last year. Like
the best offensive lineman is Nate Potter (6-6, 293, Jr.), who started the final
eight games of the 2009 campaign at left tackle.
That he was first-team All-WAC after having to heal from an injury
indicates the high regard for his pass protection skills.
The most intriguing adjustment at spring camp was the assignment of
Potter at guard. Part of this move
was necessitated by a number of linemen needing to recover from injuries, but it
was also a sign that the coaching staff may indeed be looking to take the
advantage of the unit's depth at tackle. For
Potter, this position switch gave him experience taking on big hosses, forcing
him to work on initial explosion and sustaining blocks—for a tall lineman,
he's shown great ability to keep low. Regardless
of his position, Potter is appropriately listed on the Outland Trophy watch
Potter is regulated to left guard, the coaching staff has a truckload of
experienced options and youthful talent at tackle.
For athletic offensive tackles, Coach Strausser can dial up Michael Ames
(6-4, 281, So.) who started much of last season, or Brenel Myers (6-2, 267,
So.), the fleet-footed warrior who kept Jerry Hughes at bay in the Fiesta Bowl.
Or it may be that big Zach Waller (6-5, 289) becomes a force.
A good deal of attention has been given to Faraji Wright (6-3, 284, So.),
who had significant time with the first-team unit in spring camp, and Charles Leno (6-3, 249, Fr.) is a lean-bodied prospect who has great potential—he
might be the one to make the statement in August.
Jake Broyles (6-4, 257, Fr.) will likely need another year of development
to press for playing time. The wild
card may be Spencer Gerke who has the athleticism, nastiness and size to be an
impact player either at tackle or guard.
Lawrence and Potter in the guard slots, the Broncos have quality but not quite
so much depth. Indeed, Cory
first few weeks of fall camp will reveal which of the linemen has made
sufficient improvements in strength, weight, conditioning, and execution.
With all the experience returning, Bronco fans expect the offensive line
to prove themselves as an elite unit. They
were very good last year, despite the inconsistencies, but if the Broncos are to
make a run at the national title, this unit must become exceptional.
the starting five against VT, my guess for the depth chart: