McMeans Competing at Guard

With spring practices beginning earlier this week, Tuesday it begins a new year of competition especially along the offensive line. Tyler McMeans started the first six games of the year in 2004 before suffering a knee injury. Now he is working working hard to get his spot back.

In the first week of practices the first-team offensive line was as follows: LT Tyrone Byrd LG Derrick Morse C Alex Pou RG Tyler McMeans RT Rashad Butler. Eric Winston, Tony Tella, and Anthony Wollschlager are dealing with injuries.

So far things have been going well according to McMeans.

"I feel like things are going pretty well," McMeans said. "I really like the chemistry we have on the team. We have been up and down this week. Some days we have been dealing with mentals--that is something we have to take care of."

McMeans is one of four senior offensive linemen on the team. Tella, Winston, and Butler are the other three. All four players have plenty of experience. Winston has started 18 career games, Tella has 12 starts, Butler has 11 and McMeans has six career starts.

"We have four seniors and I think we have a really tight-knit group," McMeans said. "I definitely think we are all on the same page and we all want to give everything we have. Because of that chemistry I think we will play even better."

Last year the offense struggled running the ball averaging 131 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry. Offensive line coach Art Kehoe has stressed the importance of improving the offensive line in their run blocking.

Injuries hit the offensive line hard and although the team wont use that as an excuse, it didn't make things any easier. Winston, Butler, McMeans, and Wollschlager all missed games due to injuries.

McMeans has been feeling very well in the past week and looks forward to the final three weeks of spring practice.

"I have been feeling good out there," McMeans said. "I have been working myself back from my knee injury I had last year and I have been losing weight and I feel real good now."

Currently McMeans, who stands 6-foot-5, is down in the 320's after being listed at 337 pounds last year.

"It feels great and getting down in that range is a big stepping ground for me," McMeans said.

A trimmer McMeans helps him be more mobile at the guard position--a position that will be a tight battle in the spring and fall practice sessions. McMeans, Morse, and Tella are competing for two starting positions.

"I think losing that weight definitely helps me," McMeans said. "We are all going to be big enough regardless. I think the longevity is increased when you are lighter and you feel better for the season. It is also easier on your body."

The team is currently on spring break and will resume practices on March 22. Practices are open to the public and generally begin around 3:20 each day.

Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

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