The offensive linemen on a football team are like the rowers on a Viking ship. They may not get much credit, but without them, the boat isn't going anywhere.
For Bryce Tennison, offensive guard for SMU, this old adage couldn't be truer. The red shirt freshman from Austin, Texas has greatly improved on everything this summer, including vast improvements on his already strong maxes in the weight room. He is up 45 lbs on his bench to 375, and is now maxing at 341 in his power cleans.
Will Tennison's improved strength translate to better performance on the field?
"Personally, I don't want to allow a sack this entire season, and I think our better conditioning and improved strength will help out with that. Also, I would like to work into receiving freshman all-conference honors."
It's no surprise there is extreme confidence coming from all over the Hilltop this summer. With the arrival of Coach June Jones and his new staff there is definitely a certain buzz around campus and around University Park about the teams chances this year.
"It all starts with the o-line. If we can block up front that will give time for our quarterback, and then we have a great core of receivers. I think we will be a very explosive offense, but like I said, it all starts up front with the o-line," Tennison told PonyStampede.com on Friday afternoon after conditioning drills.
At 6' 3" 295 lbs, Bryce Tennison surely doesn't lack size to play at this level, but right now, he does lack experience; however, he doesn't believe that will be too much of an issue.
"Last year I played on the scout team because I was red-shirting, but I think having to learn all of those different plays every week made me tougher mentally to learn Coach Jones' offense." He added, "I just want to win more than 1 game this year. I don't want to set the bar too high, and we do that by taking it week by week and winning one game at a time."