Stampeding Through the Roster: Offensive Line Preview

Will USF's youthful line hold up in 2013? - gousfbulls.com

More experienced than a young line should be?

Generally, when a unit is young, you wouldn’t expect many of the players to be experienced. And on an offensive line returning no senior starters, you wouldn’t expect over a couple dozen starts. Even after graduating stalwarts like Mark Popek and Danous "I lift cars" Estenor, USF’s offensive line returns 48 starts, and none of the starters are seniors. That’s actually kind of a lot of starts for a unit with no senior starters.

With three juniors and two sophomores on the starting line, a couple of the players are young but have double-digit starts. If they develop under the tutelage of Willie Taggart and new offensive Line coach Walt Wells, we could be at the beginning of to a two-year period of solid play along the line. Especially if they stay healthy (unlike last season), because it’s all inexperienced youth after the first string.

Tackle

Quinterrius Eatmon leads all returning lineman in starts with 22, and with all 22 starts coming in the last 23 games. His only missed start was the 2012 opener against Chattanooga. The junior was second-team freshman All-America in 2011, so while last season was a drop off, the potential is there for solid play in 2013.

Darrell Williams had five starts down the stretch last season and the junior figures to start at tackle opposite Eatmon.

Taggart told Greg Auman that walk-on sophomore Mak Djulbegovic and junior Jake Kaufman impressed during spring and should push for playing time. Sophomore Max Lang saw action in four games last season, and might figure in as well.

Guard

Thor Jozwiak leads the pair of sophomore starters likely at the guard spots. The Athlon All-Name Team recipient started the final four games last season, and by Odin’s beard, we figure he’ll be starting again.

Brynjar Gudmundsson should work his way into the other starting spot. He played in nine games in 2012, getting a spot start vs. UConn.

Seniors Steven Jacques and and Lawrence Martin should figure into the mix at guard, at least initially. Guard is a spot that received a lot of attention during the recruiting season. Taggart brought in freshman Jeremi Hall, Cameron Ruff and Dominique Threatt, although Jeremi Hall has a weight issue.

Center

Austin Reiter had 11 starts in 2012, and the junior is a lock for the starting gig. He also had probably the worst penalty of the 2012 for the Bulls, a low, late hit about 20 yards from the play. Youth taketh, youth giveth away; ideally Reiter avoids these kinds of plays now that he’s an upperclassman.

Jozwiak, who saw spot work at center last season, would slide over as Reiter's backup. Redshirt freshman Kofi Amichia is also listed as a backup center.

Down the depth chart

Redshirt freshman Kameron Davis and Kofi Amichia, and freshman Caleb Tucker don’t figure to get more than garbage-time action this season.

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