Spring Preview: Offensive Line

The old axiom remains true -- "You win games in the trenches". Last year the Husky offensive line performed dismally, and as a result the offense ended up being one of the worst in the country. This year, with a new system and new staff in place, the unit needs to make strides in order for the team to reach it's goals. Read on to find out who are the main players to watch this spring...

The Players

RS Sr. OT Ben Ossai (6-6, 332)
RS Sr. OG Morgan Rosborough (6-6, 382)
RS Sr. OT Nick Scott (6-4, 320)**
RS Jr. OG Ryan Tolar (6-5, 321)
RS Jr. OT Cody Habben (6-6, 316)
RS Jr. C Matt Sedillo (6-3, 320)
RS Jr. C Greg Christine (6-2, 300)**
So. OT Senio Kelemete (6-5, 310)
RS So. OT Skyler Fancher (6-5, 300)
RS So. OT Mark Armelin (6-5, 304)
RS So. OG Scott Shugert (6-5, 312)
RS Fr. OT Drew Schaefer (6-5, 290)
RS Fr. OT Terence Thomas (6-8, 305)
RS Fr. OG Allen Carroll (6-4, 335)
RS Fr. C Mykenna Ikehara (6-2, 290)


**walk-on

Returning starters: Ossai, Tolar and Habben have all started games. Ossai has the most starts of the three with 30 starts since his redshirt freshman season in 2006.

Key players lost: C Juan Garcia, OG Casey Bulyca and OG Jordan White-Frisbee

Projected depth chart heading into spring:

LT: Ossai; Armelin; Kelemete
LG: Tolar: Schugert
C: Sedillo; Ikehara; Christine
RG: Rosborough; Carroll; Schaefer
RT: Habben; Fancher; Scott; Thomas


The big question heading into camp:

Who are the top five players the Huskies can put on the field to form the best offensive line possible?

The loss of leaders like Garcia and Bulyca as well as the talented White-Frisbee could hurt a unit that was one of the most disappointing of the 2008 season.

Garcia's vacated pivot-position should be one of the best battles of both spring and fall camp as Sedillo fights off the talented Ikehara.

Sedillo has been adequate when he was called on to relieve Garcia, but word out of practice last fall was that Ikehara was almost impossible to keep off the field. Both are head and hard workers, but because of his time in the program I expect Sedillo to have the edge.

Bulyca wasn't a great athlete and most of his time on Montlake was spent getting out of shape, however he was a vocal leader. Looking to replace him are Rosborough or Carroll, a redshirt freshman from California.

Rosborough's sheer size as well as his fitness level have been the major concerns since he arrived at Washington. You don't get the nickname "House" for nothing. However, he's a good athlete and he's one of the players who has seemed to really take to the new offseason program. If he can get his weight down, I expect him to have the inside track to leave spring ball as the starter.

Pushing Rosborough will be Carroll as well as Shugert who could move over and push both for the starting nod.

Carroll showed up to Montlake way too heavy and he spent the season trying to get himself in shape. He and Shugert are both talented, but they bring different skill sets. Shugert is a mauler whereas Carroll is a good athlete who has the feel to play tackle if necessary.

The tackle positions could see some changes as well, with Habben doing everything he can to fend off the oncoming Fancher, one of the most talented players on the line. Habben's feet just aren't up to Pac 10 standards and the Huskies may opt to move him inside in order to get the best five on the field.

Ossai has the talent necessary to become an NFL player, but he just hasn't realized his potential. He's been in-and-out of Willingham's doghouse since he arrived at Washington, but he will likely retain the spot he's held down since his redshirt freshman season. If he ramps up his intensity and attention to detail, there's no reason to think he can't be one of the better tackles in the conference this fall.

Kelemete has been rumored to have been moved by coach Mike Michalczik before he left and there's been no indication he was moved back to defensive line. Word is the departed line coach told the gifted sophomore that he had the potential to be an All-American and that Kelemete has been excited about the move.

Word has been out that the line collectively has lost over 20 pounds per man this winter and that the coaches have been pleasantly surprised by the progress they've made.

No matter what, fans should not expect the depth chart heading out of spring to be set in stone and things will be in flux probably up until the start of the season September 5th.

Keep an eye on…

How Tolar looks this spring.

The talented junior struggled with a should injury that kept him out of spring practices and he never regained his starting position. However, he was name a third-team Freshman All-American after the 2007 season so he has the potential to be a force up front.

Will he do well under Cozzetto's intense, but effective tutelage? We'll find out pretty quickly.

The future…

Kelemete and Fancher are likely the future at tackle. Both are very good athletes and they both have the strength and size to be effective starters for the Dawgs.

Schaefer is intriguing because of his tenacity and improving strength. He's listed as a tackle on Washington's roster, but I think ultimately his best position is at guard where he can use his size and lower-body strength to be a devastating drive-blocker.

Shugert and Armelin provide nice depth and both could be solid starters down the road.

Washington only signed one lineman in Feburary (Mafoe) so they will be looking to bring in at least four if not five or six line prospects if they can find the right players that fit into their system.

Players to keep an eye on are O'Dea OT Ben Riva, Redmond OT/OG Colin Porter, Wenatchee C Mike Marboe, Skyline OG/C Jase Butorac, Mater Dei OT Chris Ward, St. Bonaventure OT Giovanni Dipoalo, Waialua OT Micah Hatchie, Centennial OG Nick Rowland and there will be many more down the road.

Other position previews:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Wide Receivers



Dawgman.com Top Stories