Monday, August 22, 2011

2011 Preview: Interior Offensive Line

Nathan Richman and Mark Spinney return as starters at left guard and center respectively. They paired effectively last year with Claiborne to form a nice interior tandem. Spinney entered the starting lineup about halfway through the season in a shakeup that involved Richman moving from center to guard and Cleary moving to the bench (he would ultimately come back in at right tackle after Lapham's injury). Spinney, as a natural center, stabilized the line instead of using both Richman and Cleary out of position. Spinney, while somewhat lean for an OL - 6'4" 285 - is a throwback center who uses quick feet and good technique following the tradition of Dan Koppen and Matt Tennant.

Richman possesses good size and strength and enough quickness to be an above average college guard with NFL potential. The returning tandem of Richman and Spinney should help to give some stability to a line that has three new starting members from last season. The new member is projected to be Bryan Davis who had some playing experience from last season and as a RS-Sophomore needs to step up and play consistently.

Two redshirt freshmen, Bobby Vardaro and Harris Williams provide depth on the interior of the line. Harris Williams has been drew rave reviews throughout his redshirt season practicing, and had a strong spring practice and game. The reports out of summer camp is that he has continued his progression and has been mauling defenders on the second team line. Vardaro was a highly regarded recruit who has good size at 6'5" 310 pounds and looked like a strong run blocker in the spring game.

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