What Will The O-Line Look Like?
The biggest sigh of relief came when LT Conor McDermott made it known that he would return for his final season of eligibility. Quite possibly the best lineman from last season, McDermott was a major factor in the drop in sacks. Because of his production, several outlets are already selecting him as a preseason All-American.
Kenny Lacy is another starter at guard that will help stabilize the trenches, but from the center to the right side is where things get fuzzy.
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UCLA returns Scott Quessenberry from injury, which is a plus, but he was expected to play guard. The Bruins got a bit of bad news two weeks ago when it was revealed that potential transfer center Jake Raulerson had not been admitted to a graduate program, thusly squashing his chances of playing for UCLA (he would have been a two-year starter as well).
Because of this, Quessenberry is projected to play at center. This could be troubling. As we saw during spring practice, Quessenberry started at center and had trouble grasping the position. Though he improved, the offensive line was for the most part unstable. And then there is also a question of who is going to handle the other guard spot.
Poasi Moala seems to be the quick fix, though he has not exactly grown into the type of player the Burins need on the O-line. Other options are redshirt freshmen Josh Wariboko and true frosh Mike Alves, but with very little experience, it is hard to project them starting.
At least there is consistency with the right tackle as Kolton Miller, who showed a lot of improvement last season, will handle the strong side. Miller also projects to be a back-up on the blindside if anything happens to McDermott (or the following season).
But then there is another problem. The shift to a power offense.
Next: Adding Power