Pou Challenging for Starting Center Position

Alex Pou has played in nine games in his career after a successful career at Coral Gables High School. He has just one career start to his name, but looks to improve on that mark in 2005 as he competes for the starting center position.

Alex Pou graduated from Coral Gables High School in 2002 where he played for coach Joe Montoya. Former Hurricanes Jonathan Vilma and Frank Gore also played for the Cavaliers with Pou.

Pou chose to attend Miami over Florida and Tennessee. When he arrived on campus he was a guard and up until now has remained a guard in the Miami system

He was moved to center late in the 2004 season during practices, but has not played the position in a game. It is a position he is beginning to feel comfortable with.

"I have adapted to it pretty well," Pou said. "They have been trying to get me to play center since I have been here. I have been kind of shying away from it, but now I enjoy it a lot. I think I will have a good career at the position."

Pou, who will be a junior in 2005, didn't want to play center intially because he was worried about the quarterback and center exchange since he had not done it before.

"Once I started doing it, it wasn't too bad," Pou said.

Another aspect of the center position that is different from the guard position is the line calls. When the team comes up to the line of scrimmage generally the center calls out assignments and blitz reads.

"I am real confident in my line calls," Pou said. "It helps that I have two big guys next to me in Derrick Morse and Tyler McMeans. They have been helping me out a lot."

During the first week of practices, which began last Tuesday, Pou has been on the first unit with LT Tyrone Byrd, LG Derrick Morse, RG Tyler McMeans, and RT Rashad Butler. Eric Winston, Tony Tella, and Anthony Wollschlager, who is always competing for the center position, are all dealing with injuries.

"Things are going well in practices," Pou said. "We are trying to pick up on a lot of things with the offensive line because we made some mistakes last year. We are out here correcting and perfecting certain things."

Last year the offense averaged 131 yards per game after rushing for 187 yards per game in the past three seasons. It is an area the team wants to improve upon.

With four seniors leading the way along the offensive line there is a good chemistry amongst the unit.

"I feel our offensive line is a very close-knit unit," Pou said. "We have no choice, but to be close. I think our entire offense depends on us and if we can't get it together then our offense will have a hard time succeeding."

Last year was particularly tough for Pou who dealt with injuries and falling to third team on the depth chart.

"Last year for me personally was not a very good year," Pou said. "I have put that behind me and I am learning from my mistakes. Now I am just going out here and doing whatever it takes to get on the field."

Pou currently stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 290 pounds. He hopes to "gain a few more pounds" to add his frame.

Spring practices resume March 22 and are open to the public.

Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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