Wollschlager at Center

Quarterback Kyle Wright will not be the only player at the University of Miami starting for the first time at a key offensive position against Florida State. Junior Anthony Wollschlager will also make his first career start at center.

Anthony Wollschlager entered last spring as the favorite to win the starting center job, but due to injuries and setbacks, Tyrone Byrd ended the spring as the number one center on the depth chart.

"The first day of spring football was my first day back from the injury," Wollschlager said. "It was a tendonitis problem that I had in the bottom of my right foot. Surgery was an option, but they decided to cast it up and let it heal on its own."

Wollschlager makes no excuses about his poor play during the spring. "It was a combination of things on my part," he says. "I was coming out of a cast and not used to doing anything so I came out pretty slow. I was not physically up to speed. I worked harder over the summer."

When his foot finally fully recovered, a renewed Wollschlager exhibited a new work ethic during the summer.

"Actually in summer workouts I ran some of my best times ever so the foot feels really well," Wollschlager said.

When practices began in August, Wollschlager won the starting job because of his consistency and experience in the offense.

"It was definitely a good competition with Alex Pou and Tyrone Byrd," Wollschlager said. "We have been battling all spring and all summer. The three of us all wanted to make each other better. There was nothing malignant; it was always just trying to get the best guy out there."

As Wollschlager prepares for FSU, he is trying to treat it like any other game.

"There is some nerves and this being the first game overall and the fact that it is Florida State—that is just another thing," Wollschlager said. "I cannot get two worked up about it and I cannot blow it off. It is going to be my first start and I am going to bust my butt for it no matter who it is."

"I was up there two years ago when we played in the rain, so I do have a little feel for it. I talked to some of the other guys and they say to treat it just like any other away game—the fans are going to be rowdy and the other team is going to play great."

Wednesday the team practiced with crowd noise and the FSU war chant blaring out of the speakers. "Playing with the war chant, all of us get pumped by it," Wollschlager said. "It is lots of fun playing FSU because some of the guys up there I played with in high school with. It is a fun rivalry."

Monday cannot come soon enough for Wollschlager, when he finally gets his chance to put on the pads and represent Miami.

"It definitely is a dream come true and I am grateful for this opportunity."

David Lake is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at lake@canestime.com

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