Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 28, 2011
Much hoopla has been made about the OL for Wisconsin. I gave them an edge based on their size... but they are not significantly larger than USC who averaged 308 pounds... including a 340 pounder.

Oregon: As the 2011 season approached, the biggest question mark fans, media and coaches had regarding the Oregon Duck football team was the offensive line. The Ducks returned starters Carson York (6-5, 292) and Mark Asper (6-7, 325) from the 2010 season. With another entity well known in Darrion Weems (6-5, 302), the biggest question that the offensive line would face is who would fill the departed shoes of center Jordan Holmes.

There were three contenders entering fall camp each of whom had some reasonable doubt as to their readiness. The first candidate was Karrington Armstrong (6-3, 270) a sophomore from Reno, Nevada. Armstrong might have been considered a lock for the position, but an illness sapped a lot of his weight and strength entering fall camp. Another name many Duck fans were excited about, Hamani Stevens (6-3, 305) was just returning from a Mormon mission. Though he was in excellent shape and had managed to keep his weight where it needed to be as a Division I lineman, he had not played a down of football in three years. The final candidate for the position was Hroniss Grasu (6-3, 291) a redshirt freshman from Crespi High School in Encino, California.

Grasu won the position and played as well as could be expected early on this season. There were moments where his snaps in the shotgun were...

Wisconsin: In case anyone has not heard, the Wisconsin Badgers have a very large offensive line. Starting at left tackles is Ricky Wagner (6-6, 320) a redshirt junior. Wagner was named honorable mention all conference and has started 23 of the last 25 games for the Badgers. Like all Badger linemen, Wagner is a very good run blocker who has the ability to play multiple positions on the line. He has, however been susceptible to false start penalties for Wisconsin. With his strength in run blocking, he can be dominant, but he does have trouble with speed rushers. His biggest problem in pass blocking is playing too upright at times.

Next to Wagner, the starting left guard position is normally filled by Travis Frederick (6-4, 330) a sophomore. There is a strong possibility, though that injury will force Frederick to...

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