Roushar Talks Spartans O-Line

For Dan Roushar the 2010 season is one with high expectations but with some questions. sat down with the Spartans offensive line coach and talked about his group of Spartans looking to get off to a fast start.

Heading into his sixth season on Mark Dantonio's staff, Dan Roushar knows he's got some proven players ready to continue their development, but he also knows there are some questions. How does Roushar see things right now?

"As I look at them right now, we have three guys that I can say today that are penciled as guys you can see as being starters if they stay healthy and things go the way we want them to go. Right now I have a guy at right guard in Chris McDonald whom I feel has a leg up on some of the others, but there is competition right behind him. The right tackle position is a little more up in the air right now. We have got to find some guys to develop, we have some candidates, and I am very encourage by the summer they have had as a group. So far I feel we really have a read on a couple of guys who look ready."

One player many Spartan fans were hoping would be ready was Henry Conway. Where does the Ohio native stand?

"Henry is a guy who I feel is going to be slow in his development. I think it is going to be hard for him to catch up this year as he missed all of the spring. We were very encourage by what we saw in camp last summer and on scout team. But unfortunately, Henry missed all of the spring and was only cleared about a month ago. He did a good job in his conditioning test so we are monitoring his development and hopefully he stays healthy and progress the way we want him to."

While talking about freshmen offensive lineman playing a role is rare, one player that is showing well early is Skyler Schofner.

"I feel Skyler is raw right now as far as fundamentals like all freshmen coming in the door. His head is going to be swimming with assignments and then the ability to execute those assignments. But what I have seen so far is he is very physical and very aggressive. He is also a very good athlete for a big kid and that will help him a lot early in his career. Coach Dantonio asked me if there was anyone I would not have recruited out of the group, and I like them all."

As for the center position, Roushar knows he's got a hard working player in John Stipek looking to show what he can do after being a backup. But he also knows younger players are working to earn their way.

"Nate Klatt has really improved since he came here. He is running at the second spot right behind Stipek, and Ethan Rowland will also push for that spot. But Nate Klatt is a football guy who loves working on his craft. I can see the efforts he has made this summer and I think he will have a really good year. I'm really looking forward to watching him improve."

As for the way the Spartans offensive line will play, Roushar has not changed much since joining Coach Dantonio.

"We are running more zones, but we are still running our same gap schemes with power and counter. We try to feature our personnel and have had some very good players since we came here. So we have been able to adapt with what we have had to work with and make it work."

While eyes are often on the skill players in college football, it is how well the offensive line plays that determines the success or failures of a team. Yes, there are questions going into the season, but camp is showing the Spartans have some talent ready to show what they are capable of doing.

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