Player Spotlight - Eric Kohler

Since teammate and friend Colin Porter had to retire due to injuries, Erik Kohler has become one of the most pivotal players along the offensive line. Even line coach Dan Cozzetto has mentioned they need him to be the 'swing man' on Washington's line and this spring has seen the junior move around quite a bit so as to get him plenty of reps at every spot...

Mr. Versatility - Since arriving at Washington, Kohler has started games at both guard and tackle. Now, with Drew Schaefer out due to a knee injury, Kohler is getting quite a long look from the coaches as the backup center to current number one Mike Criste. Cozzetto loves the work-ethic of Kohler and his ability to be a 'jack of all trades' for the Huskies and with his experience he can be a factor at almost any position for the Dawgs.

2010 class flexes it's muscles - Porter and Kohler were the first two among the class of seven to start games, but since that first year, Colin Tanigawa has been added to the lineup as a starter and it appears that Micah Hatchie, James Atoe, Ben Riva and Criste are all poised to play significant amounts of time his coming fall. Tanigawa, if he recovers fully from his torn ACL before the start of the season, can be expected to start at left guard while Hatchie is currently penciled in at left tackle and Atoe is battling to start at right guard with Riva out at right tackle. With Schaefer expected to be fine this fall, Criste will have to wait another year to challenge for a starting role, but you can expect him to see extensive snaps as a backup depending on how things go. That means that aside from Porter who had to retire, the entire 2010 class appears to be ready to make their mark on the program.

Injuries can take a toll - As noted above and as we've seen all spring, the Huskies appear to be a M*A*S*H unit along the offensive line and Kohler isn't exempt from that group. Since his freshman season in 2010, he has struggled with knee injuries, a staff infection and Mononucleosis and that has been something that hasn't allowed him to participate as much in the offseason program as the coaches would have preferred.

Scouting Report - When he arrived at Washington, the first glimpse of Kohler was that of a player who needed to get into the weight room and reshape his body. Kohler has done that and the coaches have lauded his work-ethic even though he struggled with injuries and illness. The thing about Kohler is he's an aggressive blocker who can pull, but he's versatile enough to play both outside or inside. Most agree though that his best position is inside where is aggression is better served and he isn't put on an island to face off against super-quick pass-rushers outside. As many saw last year, Kohler struggles with speed rushers and that is why they are giving Riva every chance possible to earn the starting spot at right guard.

Quotable - "Erik missed most of the winter workouts because he had that staph that came back. I wanted to make sure he got healthy. As far as conditioning standpoint, I moved him in there today a little bit. I want to make sure that he works on getting his strength back and getting gin the best possible shape he can. Whether I keep him at guard or tackle, I will visit with Sark and we'll talk about it. But the last half of spring football, I'm going to move him a little bit more. He seems to have gotten strength back. He seems more healthy now." -- Dan Cozetto on Kohler

Competition - As long as he's healthy, Kohler will have a starting spot along the Husky offensive line. Whether that is at guard or tackler all depends on the healthy as well as the viability of players like Riva and Hatchie at tackle. The coaches see Kohler's smarts and abilities as integral to the overall well-being of the line and his leadership and experience is invaluable to their success. Top Stories