Position Preview: Offensive Line

CuseNation.com previews the offensive line entering the 2014 season.

Depth Chart

Starters: Sean Hickey, Rob Trudo, John Miller, Nick Robinson, Ivan Foy
Reserves: Omari Palmer, Michael Lasker, Jason Emerich, Jamar McGloster, Aaron Roberts, Alex Hayes, Denzel Ward

2013 Statistics


What We Know

Nick Robinson is out for the opener against Villanova. Omari Palmer will slide into the left guard spot in his place and Trudo will move to the right side. Even with that, the offensive line has impressive depth. Four starters return when you include Robinson.

Sean Hickey is a potential high NFL draft pick who is looking for a monster senior season. He is the best of the group and will protect Terrel Hunt’s blindside. Trudo has been a solid contributor over the last two seasons and is an accomplished run blocker.

Robinson was playing the best football of his career prior to his injury according to head coach Scott Shafer. His replacement, Omari Palmer, was listed as a starter at the beginning of training camp. He was a strong run blocker in high school but has struggled with footwork and technique since arriving at Syracuse. Both appear to have improved this fall.

Ivan Foy missed the spring with an academic issue but fought back this fall to regain the starting right tackle spot from Lasker.

Behind the starters, Lasker provides quality depth and can play guard or tackle. He played last season and filled in well. He appears to be better this season, especially with his first step after the snap.

John Miller won the starting center position after a strong spring and fall. The coaching staff has raved about his ability as a leader up front.

Biggest Question

How Will Miller react to game action? The rest of the offensive line is largely known. Each has seen action at the division one level. Miller, however, has yet to get into a game for Syracuse after transferring from a junior college in California.

Miller will be tested this season against some strong ACC defensive lines. The first two games will help get him acclimated to this level. But given that he has not played in a game for a couple of years, he is a question mark despite his strong performance during training camp. The good news is he was never really pushed as he took a stranglehold of the job.

Season Outlook

Everything points to the offensive line having a big year in 2014. They are a veteran group with a lot of talent and size up front. The offensive line is as deep as it has been in years providing hope not only for this season but beyond. Expect Terrel Hunt to have strong protection in the pocket and for the stable of running backs to find room to run throughout the season.

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