McMeans Adjusting & Learning

Junior college transfer Tyler McMeans arrived on campus last December with hopes of following in former Lackawanna standout Bryant McKinnie's footsteps. McMeans has found that the transition from junior college to the top college football program in the country is a big step and he has a lot to learn.

When McMeans arrived in time for Orange Bowl preparations he was thought to have a very good shot at the open left guard spot with the graduation of Vernon Carey but has instead spent most of his time at offensive tackle this spring. He still may move to guard but the stellar play of Tony Tella may make it difficult for McMeans to win that job now.

McMeans had never played offensive tackle until this spring and it has been a new learning experience for him.

"Everything is going pretty good," said McMeans. "I am working on being more consistent."

Consistency is key when facing college football's most ruthless defensive line. Regardless of who lines up across the line, McMeans knows he can expect a hand full. In addition to their pure athleticism, many of the players McMeans is going up against in practice have spent time in the system and have learned to play the game at its highest level – something McMeans is striving to do this spring.

"Things are a lot different than junior college," he added. "Learning the system has been an adjustment, but the spring time is the best time to do that."

A redshirt year could be in store for McMeans to learn the system and get comfortable with the entire offense before he is pressed into duty. At 6-5 and 335 pounds McMeans has the size and strength to play both positions similar to what Vernon Carey did but even Carey took time to learn the system before making his mark his last two seasons at Miami. For now, McMeans says he is just trying to learn everything he can from one of the top offensive line coaches in the game – Art Kehoe.

"I get a lot more coaching now than I did when I was on the scout team before the bowl game," said McMeans.

The emergence of Tella and others may ease the burden of McMeans having to play this season but the offense is under the microscope following a sub-par season in 2003. A new offensive coordinator and suspect play at quarterback and wide receiver a season ago is going to put the pressure on the offensive line to be the pillar of strength in 2004.

McMeans knows that his time will come and for now the learning process is key.

"Personally the biggest thing that I am working on is learning the system and the plays," he added. "I have to learn the game and everything else will come together fine with practices."

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