Spring Review: Ofensive Line

At the end of spring practice, Coach Robert McFarland was thrilled with the performances of Larry Peoples, Seth Ulsh, Dan Veenstra, Cedric Gange-Marcoux, and Sean Gilhuly. The five redshirted freshmen got a little extra reps and little extra coaching which certainly help their preparations for the upcoming season. Their performances in the spring suggested that the offensive line's future is bright and in good hands.

Knights News: Would you give us your overall assessment on spring practice?

Robert McFarland: We really had a great spring.  We had some guys weren't out there because they were hurt.  But in the same sense, we have some younger guys that we're trying to find out about.  They got a little extra reps and little extra coaching which really help in that aspect for sure.


KN: Who were some of the players would you say stood out from the bunch in spring?

RM: I think just the freshmen, the core freshmen we had in here really stood out for us.  I couldn't be more please with the perform of Larry Peoples, Seth Ulsh, Dan Veenstra, Cedric Gange-Marcoux, and Sean Gilhuly.  I though those five freshmen really came in here and really showed a lot for their first spring in college football after redshirting all five of them. They really become a close-knit group.  I think the future is really bright, so that was defiantly the bright spot on spring for us.


KN: Were there players came out of spring surprised you because of their improvement or ability?

RM: I think the guy that was surprising to me was Larry Peoples.  Just the way Larry Peoples was able stepped up and the way he competed.  The intensity that he brought to the game I think really was a pleasant surprise for us.   I was very excited the way Larry performed the way he did.  And if I had to pick another guy real quick, I would have to pick Sean Gilhuly.  Sean came to us from Winter Springs.  I was just very impressed with how he came in and physically was able to stepped-up to compete with a lot of these guys.  He's some one that really you just go in and know nothing about, and he is now giving us a lot to think of.  So if I had to pick two people I have to pick Sean and Larry on that.


KN: Would you talk about the strength of the offensive line?

RM: I think our strength for one is going to be the numbers that we will have and as far as the enthusiasm and the desire.  I think that's defiantly the strength that we have.  We have a lot of hungry football players who want to get on the field and play.  Half of them have redshirted and the other ones are ready for time to start.


KN: What would you say is the weakness of the offensive line?

RM: I think the weakness that I have to pick most probably going to be our youth and inexperience.  The fact that we are going to have to count on the redshirt freshmen to fill the void and possibly and stepped up to be the starter for us.




KN: What are some of the improvement you would like to see the offensive line to improve on?

RM: I think every year you want your kids to improve as far as strength, speed and quickness.  Those are the things that can be accomplish in the weight room over the summer through summer conditioning an all.  That is something we're looking for all the time for them to improve their physical ability.  Of course their developments mentally as well, get a better grasp of the offense understanding what it is we're trying to accomplish every play, making an adjustment when they are needed to.  As far as improvement with the offense linemen that's what you're look for, you want them physically get better and you also want them mentally prepare being a better student of the game.


KN: Every unit has its leader, in your opinion who is this unit leader?

RM: I think you have to stick with the guy who is coming up right now.  On the offensive line, David Ashkinaz will be a senior offensive guard for us this year.  I think he defiantly stepped up for us as one of our leader from the offensive line and on the offense as well. 


KN: You've mentioned the redshirt freshmen.  Would you talk about the quality freshmen that UCF now have compared to the last several years ago?

RM: This redshirt freshmen class that is coming up, the freshmen I got the past year, if I had to pick a thing is that I'm so impress with the five kids are the overall strengths and the conditioning on all five of them.  As the collective group, these guys come in here bench press and do a lot of things.  We have a lot of upper classmen that don't bench press.  They run just as well their athletic ability just as well and really for them they just lack the pure knowledge and experience that is all that they really lack.  If I have to pick one thing about from those five freshmen that I'm impress, it would have to be their overall physical attribution they bring to the table.


KN: Would you say that the overall size and height of your offensive linemen had increase and they're getting bigger than the earlier players UCF had?

RM: Yes, that come with a little bit of change in philosophy and that kind of coincide when I got here.  Though I prefer the bigger linemen and all, so the joke around here that "if they aren't 6'5 and their knuckles don't drag the ground don't bring them in 'cause Mc not going to like them".  I defiantly like them big and if you just look at the size of those kids that came in, the freshmen class, the biggest kid you probably see is Larry People who is over 6'6 and he's over 275 pound.  Sean Gilhuly he's 6'5 plus and almost 6'6 and he's almost three hundred something pound.  Dan Veenstra is 6'5 plus he's 320, and Seth Ulsh is over 6'4 and he's 300 pounds.  And of course Cedric Gange-Marcoux, center, he's usually athletic guy he's 602 and 290 pounds.  Just the size of those five guys right there to let you know to let you what we have changed as far as our attitude and our desire to get bigger.  We start to get some very big young men who are coming in here that are freshmen, redshirt freshmen, and red shirt sophomore.  This year our signing class we signed the big offensive tackles out of Georgia a 6'7 380 pound and we signed a big kid out of Canada who is 6'6 300 pounds and then we took a pretty nice size guard out of Alabama who is 6'4 280 pounds.  We keep bringing them all in here it going to be a good collecting group for sure. 


KN: Do you think any one of the true freshmen who are coming in the fall will play next season?

RM: Well you're always telling them to prepare to come in to help you.  You hope that you don't have to use them.  I think we're hitting with these five redshirt freshmen it going to help us a little bit because they will fill up those holes fro backup positions and possible starting job.  I think them, the redshirt freshmen, mixed up with the upper class that we have I think we should be okay at our two-deep.  I think our desire is to redshirt those three freshmen we're bringing in this year as well. 


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