Sirles: "Nothing is set"

Sophomore offensive tackle Jeremiah Sirles admits he doesn't know what he is. His third-year in the Nebraska program, he's stuck between the upperclassmen/younger guy phase.

"I'm just here to help where ever I can," said Sirles (6-6, 320-pounds). "I will try to help out the younger guys as much as I can."

They would be wise to listen – Sirles was voted a CFN Second-Team Freshman All-American in 2010.

But even after 14 career starts as a red-shirt freshman, Sirles is fighting for his spot.

"Nothing is set, no depth chart is out or set at all," said the Colorado product, who missed spring practices after off-season shoulder surgery.

It's the hope that not only will the competition put the best players on the field, but build depth for a unit that has struggled with injuries and expectations of championship level football in previous seasons.

"I think we played six or seven guys, that's low numbers for college football," said Sirles when referring to last year. "We want to personally get 10 to 11 guys out there.

"Depth anywhere on the football field is important, but if you can be playing anywhere from 10 to 11 guys on the offensive line during a game, that's huge. You got new fresh legs coming in pounding on that d-line and linebackers, it works. It's what they did here in the 90s and they won National Championships. Having depth is incredibly important."

When Sirles looks at the position, he's excited for the near future. Not just because guys like senior Mike Caupto and senior Marcel Jones return, but because of the young talent pushing for playing time. A role that Sirles ran with last year.

"I think we are getting pretty close to having that depth," said the sophomore. "Jake (Cotton) coming over to the offensive line, he plays extremely hard. His motor is always going. He's going to be great to keep that competition going.

"Andrew Rodriguez got playing time last year as a true freshman, but I'm pretty sure he is pushing for a starting spot."

And then there is true freshman and former high school All-American Tyler Moore. The son of former Husker tight end Brian Moore, the Florida product decided to skip his 2nd semester of his senior year to get to Lincoln early. It paid off, with the coaches evaluating whether they should not red-shirt him in 2011.

Tyler Moore(Picture By: Josh Harvey)

"Tyler is going to be a great player here. He's very mature for his age, from what I have seen. He holds himself to a certain amount of pride, I think because of his dad playing here and his grandpa playing here," said Sirles.

"He worked really hard this off-season and worked really hard in the spring, coming in early to try to get a leg up. He's got a chance this year I think to compete for some time. Personally I don't know what the coaches are thinking, but physically I think he's ready."

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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