FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2011
JU Football Season Outlook: Offensive Line
Second in a series Unit coach: Andy McLeod
Overview: Of the five starters up front, only one, Ian Osking, is playing where he did last year. Chad Cypher, a first team All-American by Beyond Sports Network, has moved to LT from RT and the left side is his most natural side. Kevin Halverson moves from C to LG and Kyle Nanton has recovered from a hand injury he suffered in a car accident last year to move to C. Osking stays at RG and Spencer Hodges, a rotational player last season, has found a spot at RT. Both Billy Peach and Wisley Desire are expected to see plenty of action along the line. Cypher, Halverson and Osking all are preseason All Pioneer Football League first team selections.
Key Returners: LT Chad Cypher, LG Kevin Halverson, C Kyle Nanton, RG Ian Osking, RT Spencer Hodges.
Key Losses: LT Leonard Payton, a four-year starter and LG Dustin Robinson, a three-year starter.
Promising Newcomers: Matt Davis, Logan Williamson, Mark Bodkin, Kevin Battle, Herbie Fridy and Tyler Adrian. This group of freshmen has a chance to become some of the best players to come through the school.
Unit Strengths: The mentality. McLeod says the linemen have “done it right, and done it right over an extended period of time. They are do right kids.’’
Unit Weaknesses: More uncertainty than weakness, it’s unknown how the unit will work together under game conditions. They have taken plenty of snaps together, but until they play together in a game, you don’t know how they will react.
Coach’s Quote: “They’ve got to do it as a group on Saturday. It’s the carrot that’s out there, ‘you can be this, you can be this, you can be this’ but, you’ve got to prove it and that’s keeping them hungry. They want to go out as the winningest senior class.’’
-- Jim Nasella