Wollschlager Back as Lone OL Starter

In the past couple of spring football seasons, the defense has significantly dominated the offense, so in his first practice as the offensive line coach Mario Cristobal's message to the linemen was short and clear.

"He told us to kick the defense's [butt]," center Anthony Wollschlager said. "We want to average four to five yards-per-carry and not allow any sacks if we can possibly do that."

Wollschlager, a senior, enters the spring as the lone returning starter from the 2005 team. Known for his tenacity and work ethic, Wollschlager is considered the most surprising player on the team. He graded out at the end of the year as the second best offensive lineman behind Eric Winston.

Wollschlager finished the season with 31 pancakes, 52 metrorails, and allowed just 5.5 sacks in his first season as a starter. Now as the veteran of the offensive line, Wollschlager is happy to get back on the field.

"I came out there a little rusty obviously, but everyone is picking up the plays real well," Wollschlager said. "On the offensive line, all the young guys are doing a good job. We have had a lot of coaching changes, but we all just have to buy into what they are saying. I know for me, it is my last year and I am ready to go."

Playing last season at "around 270-280 pounds," Wollschlager would like to put on ten to fifteen pounds and gain strength. Finally healthy after being plagued with foot injuries, Wollschlager can gain back the strength he lost because of the injuries.

As one of two seniors on the offensive line, Wollschlager has taken a leadership by example role. Ask him about the potential of the young offensive line, and his eyes light up.

"Youngblood is a young guy, but he has got a good head on his shoulders," Wollschlager said. "The thing I like about him and Tyrone Byrd is that they have really good attitudes. They are fighters. They will go out there and give 100-percent all day long. It is exciting to see them progress and do well.

"Bain played some games last season and Morse played two years ago when Tyler McMeans went down with an injury. I see them almost as returning starters. They have got so much experience and they know what is going on."

Wollschlager is never complacent with his efforts and performance on the football field. He is a leader by example that will be a solid candidate for All-ACC honors in 2006. He is a classic example of how hard work does pay off.

"As an offensive lineman, it is basic stuff that needs to be done everyday; stay low, keep your feet moving, keep your hands inside," Wollschlager said. "Just real nitty gritty technique things I feel like I can make a lot better."

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

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