Projecting Utah's Offensive Line

It's never too early to look ahead to look ahead at the positions battles for next year. breaks down what the offensive line could look like in 2011...

Projected 2011 Offensive Line

Left Tackle: John Cullen (Sr.), Percy Tuamoelau (So.)
Left Guard: Ron Tongaonevai (So.), Jeremiah Tofaeono (So.)
Center: Tevita Stevens (Jr.), Vyncent Jones (So.)
Right Guard: Sam Brenner (Jr), Isaac Asiata (Fr.)
Right Tackle: Tony Bergstrom (Sr.), Kapua Sai (So.)

A few spots here are nailed down for next year with John Cullen at left tackle, Tevita Stevens sliding over from right guard to center as he did in the New Mexico game, and Tony Bergstrom at right tackle. The only question is what to do with the guards. The guard position tends to be somewhat easier at the college level for a younger player as they are still developing their body, which is why you'll often see a guy start at the guard spot before moving to tackle later in his career. Sam Brenner is the most experienced of the reserves and will likely get his shot at both of the guard spots, with right guard being the most likely destination. Brenner has seen time there and is comfortable on the right side. The left guard spot is probably the most wide open spot on the line. Ron Tongaonevai has battled through a few injuries and, when healthy, is the best option in my eyes, but he could have quite the battle on his hands with Jeremiah Tofaeono, who has actually seen more field time this season than Ron Ton.

Percy Tuamoelau is the left tackle of the future and is going to be a very good one. He has all conference lineman written all over him. It's possible that he gets a shot at the left guard spot next before moving to tackle in 2012. He'll be the Utes' starting left tackle in two years. Book It. The left guard spot should come down to Ron Ton and Tofaeono, but Tuamoelau cold get a look as well. Vyncent Jones is a solid back-up center, but is not starter material. He could eventually get pushed aside by one of the incoming freshman like Siaosi Aiono. Incoming freshman Isaac Asiata is a very skilled, very smart player and is going to make an immediate impact. Don't be surprised if he lands a backup guard spot or even pushed for a starting spot. He's that good.

There are a few others that could push for spots in the two deep, including a few freshman, but it's hard to project how they'll do against college players at this time. The Utes are going to miss Zane Taylor and Caleb Schlauderaff immensely as the line as a whole probably takes a small step backwards, but will still be one of the better lines in the Mountain West.

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