Gopher Football Preview: Guards and Center

The Gophers hope to get down and dirty in the trenches this fall and the big nasties on the interior of the line hope to get the push needed to move the ball on the ground. The Gophers return both starters at guard as well as a center with multiple starts under his belt.

Projected Starters:
At right guard a recently healed Matt Carufel will be penciled in as starter this fall. The 6-foot-5, 302-pound Notre Dame transfer struggled with injuries last season but comes into fall camp healthy and, reportedly, mean.

Over on the left side, the 6-foot-3, 332-pound Chris Bunders is the returning starter and will likely be there coming into fall camp, as well.

At center, 6-foot-2, 290-pound, D.J. Burris will fill the full time roll after sharing the position with the injured Jeff Tow-Arnett and Trey Davis--who left the team last spring to concentrate on track and field.

Projected Top Reserves:
There is a lot of young depth on the Gopher line and there is plenty of flexibility as to where they will line up. The versatile Ryan Wynn, 6-foot-5, 296 pounds, could see time at any or all interior line positions.

Ryan Orton, 6-foot-4, 296 pounds, will be in the mix for playing time at right guard and red-shirt freshman and converted defensive lineman Eric Jaques, 6-foot-2, 283 pounds, will also see playing time at guard.

Walk-on Zach Mottla. 6-foot-2, 274 pounds, has been making noise at center.

Incoming Freshmen:
The incoming freshmen are all versatile and their exact positions have yet to be determined. Some of the top incoming linemen who are likely to see time at guard are Zac Epping, 6-foot-2, 274 pounds and Matt Eggen, 6-foot-5, 290 pounds. However, expect to see plenty of shifting as the young guns find their natural positions on the line.

To share your thoughts on this article please go to Gopher Insider - Premium Forum.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories