SPRING: A few minutes with Steve Rissler

With four of the five starters leaving the offensive line this spring, Steve Rissler officially stepped into the leadership role of this revamped O-line. Rissler will also be making the switch from right guard to center, which makes him the backbone of Florida's offense. Rissler has some heavy shoes to fill as senior Mike Degory departs for the NFL and feels confident that he'll be ready to handle the pressures come fall.

Gator Country snagged Rissler on his way to the locker room after practice to chat about how the line is coming along.

JR: What do you think about this O-line? How is that situation going?

SR: Well, everyone's new. I mean, we're all learning a lot. Me being the only senior, I'm trying to be the leader; trying to bring everybody up. I mean, I'm still learning to. I'm switching over to center, so that's a new position. But I think everyone's coming along real good.

JR: How is the switch going for you?

SR: It's going good. I mean, I was a back-up center last year, so switching to center isn't THAT much different. But I mean, I gotta speak up and make a lot of calls and everything, so that's probably the biggest difference.

JR: I've noticed you've been a lot more vocal out there with the guys as well...

SR: Definitely. That's Chris's job and my job...stepping up as leaders. That's all part of being a leader. You gotta talk to your team. You can't let them get down on themselves; if something bad happens, you gotta keep going.

JR: Are there any of the younger guys that have caught your eye particularly?

SR: Um, well Ronnie Wilson, he's a RS Freshman...he's going to be starting this year.

JR: Where at?

SR: Probably left guard...or one of the guard positions. He didn't play at all last year, he red-shirted, so he's come along a LOT. And I knew he would just from seeing him last year. He's a big tough guy. You know, we also got Tartt. He played a little bit last year, but you know, none of them had a lot of experience traveling and playing that much last year, but they're all coming along good. I think if we stick together we'll be alright.

JR: Traut's going to be starting at left tackle right? What's the situation with Drew Miller?

SR: Well he transitioned into tackle because we need more depth at tackle. And I think that's a better position for him anyways because he's got the height and he's got athletic ability to play tackle, and you need that with the speed ends. So I think it's a good switch over for Drew, and he'll be alright...he'll play good there.

JR: Who do you think the starting five will be come fall?

SR: Um, I mean anything could change, but we're looking at right now probably Trautwein, Ronnie Wilson, me, Jim Tartt, and then Drew Miller on the other side.

This offensive line could surprise a few people this fall. Rissler has been playing well this spring, and from what it sounds like at practice, Coach Meyer loves Ronnie Wilson. Trautwein, Tartt, and Miller...along with Rissler and Wilson could be a great group of linemen if they can stay healthy. This will be an interesting situation to watch throughout the remainder of spring.


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