Front and Center

With the graduation of senior center Jake Gasaway the Broncos will need to find a leader along the offensive line. Senior Chuck Missant is hoping to step in and fill that void. Missant is considered one of the strongest players off the field and he is looking to build a similar reputation on the field this season.

Though only in his second season as a scholarship player, Missant will be looked upon to anchor a Bronco offensive line that came under harsh criticism a year ago. All early indications are the Broncos will be better prepared.

"I think this team has a new attitude," said Missant. "There is something different about this team this year."

Missant has always been viewed as a leader in the weight room (430 bench, 405 incline bench, 630 squat, 275 power clean) and now he sees the offseason participation of others being much improved. Several players are stepping up along the offensive line and it is not going un-noticed.

"I think a lot of the guys are making huge strides this offseason," he said. "Kyle Ras is stepping up, Chad Wangerin is significantly stronger than a year ago and Mark Ottney is working his butt off."

A common theme from speaking to players this offseason is the work ethic of this team. Missant feels the same way.

"We are just a bunch of tough guys playing for a tough coach and this year it is all about production."

Missant, an Organizational Communications major, says the tough schedule will again be a motivating factor for this team.

"I take my hat off to coach Darnell for his scheduling," he said. "Playing teams like we are hypes us up from day one."

The Bronco offensive line will need to be ready from day one as they lose three starters from a line that led the nation is sacks allowed for much of 2002. With hard work, Missant believes this line could be a strength for the team.

"I think coach Cummings is doing a fantastic job with us and we are only going to improve," he said. "I just see this team working harder than they have before to make sure we take care of business this year."

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