Sunday, August 3, 2014

Position Profile: OL/TE

Ask any Terrier fan, hardcore or casual, what any success we can hope to achieve this season will hinge on, and there's a good chance that their answers contain some allusion to the strength of the offensive line.

There's a lot of pressure on this year's team, like a squad of any given season, to uphold the program's stance in the conference, but, after a year like 2013, the airs of rebuilding and adjusting to the changing times are prevalent in the minds of staff, as well as the fans.

While this season may serve as a semi-rebuilding period, that shouldn't hamper the potential of all the young talent on our roster. Granted, we may seem off this year compared to others, but this is a strong, capable bunch. Let's look further.

The preliminary depth chart of the offensive line and tight end goes as follows:

Davis Lenoir
Mike Jones
Dequan Miller
Justin Lott
Bradley Way or Roo Daniels
T.J. Chamberlin
Chuck Rouse or Jeff Tucker
Anton Wahrby
Tye Youngblood or Robert Massey
Zach Muller or Taylor Bragg
T.J. Novotny

We're including tight ends with this group because of their notable blocking role in Wofford's offensive scheme.

Junior Zach Muller played in every game last season, including a start in the Georgia Southern game. Another favorite going into fall practice is sophomore Taylor Bragg, a former quarterback who moved to tight end this spring. An injury hampered T.J. Novotny's true freshman year of 2013, but the Milwaukee, Wis. native is back in action.

Novotny is joined by fellow redshirt freshman Nolan Auton, who found his way along the offensive line to tight end from Gaffney to Blacksburg High School. Junior converted lineman Mike Nicklas and true freshman Chandler Gouger, who garnered all-conference and all-region honors, along with 45 pancake blocks his senior year at the Baylor School (TN), round out the group.

On the line, a single name may not stand out to you, but their performance during spring practice certainly has.

At tackle, we have a great blocking threat in Davis Lenoir, a redshirt freshman out of Collierville, Tenn., and Mike Jones, another redshirt freshman who accumulated honors while starting on the line at Danville (KY) High School, joins him. Sophomores Anton Wahrby of Karlskrona, Sweden, who recorded over 65 knockdown blocks last season, and Chickamauga, Ga.'s Tye Youngblood bring additional experience to the table. Senior Michael Comer saw action in ten games without a start.

I've heard only good things about Jared Jacon-Duffy, who displayed a massive presence at tackle during his senior year at Archbishop Moeller (OH), and versatile linemen like Ross Demmel from Colerain High, another Cincinnati school.

Jordan Bolds-Lockwood has the speed, agility, and strength you want from a tackle, and Connor Foradas brings a great skill set to the team as well.

Unfortunately, it looks as if Robert Massey won't get a chance to see action this season due to a knee injury.

Moving to guard, Dequan Miller saw some action last season, but junior T.J. Chamberlin saw seven starts and finished the year with 121 knockdown blocks, including thirty in one game. Justin Lott garnered first team all-region honors during his senior year at Coffee (GA) High School, showing solid blocking traits.

Wando graduate Chuck Rouse displays many of the same characteristics, while junior Jeff Tucker has some game experience under his belt.

Hometown true freshman Nick Taylor adds pure strength to the mix, as does versatile threat Toney Benson, who split some time at guard and tackle at Lower Richland High (SC).

Sophomore Bradley Way is contending
for a starting spot at center.
Courtesy Wofford College Athletics
Finally, at center, sophomore Bradley Way is an early favorite to start. Way saw action in every game last season with four starts, primarily working from right tackle. Redshirt freshman Roo Daniels is right up there with him. He started over 50 consecutive games at Hammond (SC) High School, working at center, as a long snapper, and at defensive tackle prior to his senior year. Fellow redshirt freshman Jakob Dismukes also spent some high school playing time on the other side of the ball, but was mainly a starter at center.

There's a lot of youth in this group, and a general lack of collegiate playing time, but all of the newcomers have special skills at their position, and they will have plenty of time this spring to cultivate those skills and see what they can bring to this team not only this year, but for seasons to come.

Plus, we've got seasoned talent as well - they will help to fill some early gaps left by uncertainties. Overall, if this line can gel together and find a sense of identity early on, there's no stopping what could be a great 2014 for the Terriers. Why is there nothing stopping it, you ask? Because the guys above will have it blocked.

[Some statistical info courtesy]

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