The big men will lead the way.

A big, blond headed man with a goatee is entering his junior year at the University of Oregon and the two-year letterman could be a foundation of what Head Coach Mike Bellotti described as one of the two most solid part of the Ducks -- the offensive line. The other solid element according to Bellotti is the defensive line.

Adam Snyder, along with most of his teammates stayed all summer long in Eugene and prepared for the 2003 Football Season. The foul taste of the loss to Wake Forest in the Seattle Bowl is behind the team, but as Bellotti indicate, the team started preparing to make sourness of the loss to the Deacon into the sweetness of victory in 2003. How does the affable Snyder that has a wide grin and easy way about him, turn into a player known to have a mean-streak on the playing field? By conditioning and more conditioning, that's how.

"Nick Steitz, Dan Weaver and I started about three months ago working out Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 in the morning, said Snyder, the 6-6, 310 pound offensive lineman from Whittier (Calif.) La Serna HS. "We started working out twice a day -- we'd come to the Cas (Casanova Center) to do stunt drills, trying to gain strength and speed."

Snyder worked hard all summer long in the weight room and taking a look at this gentle giant, it is easy to see he's realizing the results of his hard work.

"I'm pressing 380 (pounds) on my bench (press) and that is my personal best," said the big man. "My total is 1,173 (pounds) for the combination (bench, squat and power clean.)"

Snyder figures to be one of the stalwarts on an offensive line that is looking to improve its performance over 2002. Last season, the line opened holes for the departed Onterrio Smith to rush for over 1,000 yards. Considering the previous season (2001) when the Ducks had two 1,000-yard rushers (Smith and Maurice Morris) it is easy to see why the Ducks are anxious to get started with the season. The Ducks return an offensive line that is deep and experienced. Weaver was a second-team Pac-10 selection at center last season, and along with Steitz (a junior) senior Joey Forster (who has 35 straight starts) junior Robin Knebel and junior Mike DeLa Grange, the Ducks have plenty of experience on the offensive line.

An offensive line doesn't always get much publicity or recognition, but for the guys in the trenches, things like character and teamwork are the standards they work to. Does Snyder have any personal goals?

"I'd like to get some recognition," He said of his personal goals. "Honorable mention or something (Pac-10 recognition) but it doesn't really matter to me as long as we win."

Winning will be the thing that will stir the souls of the big men and is the true reward for the hard work. This group of linemen know what success is all about as they were part of a team that finished No. 2 nationally just two years ago and had a 11-1 record. Last year's record of 7-6 is something to improve upon.

"I expect us to be better than we were last year, I'd like to see us where we were a couple of years ago," remarked Snyder. "I think we can do it, we have the talent and we have the heart."

The Ducks start practice on Wednesday, August 7th and Snyder along with his teammates are ready to start to regain the success they so enjoyed just two years ago.

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