Schaefer takes things in stride

When the first spring practice started, it was a surprise to see redshirt freshman OT Drew Schaefer holding down the right tackle position. Even though he's only a year removed from high school football, he said he's focused and ready for the challenges ahead of him and it starts with the new mentality of the coaching staff that head coach Steve Sarkisian has assembled...

"It wasn't that strange to me actually," Schaefer said when asked about seeing his name listed with the starters. "The coaches wanted to get more athletic and stuff. Nothing is set in stone and we know we have to come out and compete every day so just because I'm a starter right now doesn't mean I will be there when we start the season.

"I'm a confident guy and I know what I'm capable of. This is where I wanted to be, to have a chance to be a starter and now I feel it's all up to how I perform and the work I do."

Schaefer currently carries a lean 282 pounds on his six foot, six inch frame.

"The strength and conditioning staff has really made us into a different team," Schaefer said. "The old staff worked us hard, but this has been so much more intense and I really feel a lot stronger and a lot more explosive and I'm a lot more mobile than I was last year which is great."

The Huskies in 2008 had one of the worst offenses in the country, managing to generate only 262 yards and 13.2 points per game and Schaefer knows where the improvement needs to begin.

"It all starts up front, with us," Schaefer acknowledged. "We know what we have to do and the guys along the line are all working hard to get it done.

"You have a nice blend of experience with Ben (Ossai) and Ryan (Tolar) and (Cody) Habben and we are really athletic too. Then you have me and Senio (Kelemete) and Mykenna (Ikehara) and Matt (Sedillo) who are athletic and we all bring different things to the table.

"We feel like we're getting that cohesiveness that you need along the line and with coach (Dan) Cozzetto guiding us, I think people are going to see a totally different line this fall, but there's a lot of work to do before we can even think about that stuff."

One think he isn't thinking about is how fast he's made the leap from high school football to starter in college, because it's all part of what he expected of himself. Top Stories