Unit Analysis: Offensive line

Posted: August 5, 2014 in Football

The offensive line was pretty offensive last year. The Bulls struggled in the trenches all year as they transitioned from the spread offense style in 2013 to a more power run style under Coach Taggart. The Bulls didn’t have the size and strength up front during the 2013 season to run the style of play that Coach Taggart wants and the numbers proved it. This off-season, the Bulls hit the weight room hard, bulking up and coming in prepared to have a better season up front and help the offense get going in 2014.

Here is the 2013 roster and what the Bulls had entering last year:

Austin Reiter – 6’3″ 273 lbs. – Redshirt junior

Steven Jacques – 6’3″ 306 lbs. – Redshirt senior

Kofi Amichia – 6’4″ 265 lbs. – Redshirt freshman

Kameron Davis – 6’5″ 258 lbs. – Redshirt freshman

Mak Djulbegovic – 6’5″ 289 lbs – Sophomore

Quinterrius Eatmon – 6’6″ 311 lbs. – Redshirt junior

Brynjar Gudmundsson – 6’4″ 305 lbs. – Redshirt sophomore

Jeremi Hall – 6’5″ 340 lbs. – Freshman

Thor Jozwiak – 6’4″ 300 lbs. – Redshirt sophomore

Jake Kaufman – 6’9″ 313 lbs. – Redshirt junior

Max Lang – 6’5″ 274 lbs. – Redshirt sophomore

Cameron Ruff – 6’3″ 307 lbs. – Freshman

Jake Smith – 6’5″ 291 lbs. – Redshirt sophomore

Dominique Threatt – 6’1″ 310 lbs. – Freshman

Caleb Tucker – 6’4″ 265 lbs. – Freshman

Darrell Williams – 6’5″ 287 lbs. – Junior

So that is the entire unit from the 2013 roster. With that, this is how the depth chart came together for the season:

LT: Darrell Williams/Jake Kaufman

LG: Brynjar Gudmundsson/ Steven Jacques

C: Austin Reiter/Kofi Amichia

RG: Dominique Threatt/Jacques

RT: Quinterrius Eatmon/Mak Djulbegovic

Here are the players that have left after the end of the year:

Steven Jacques – Graduated

Jake Smith

Caleb Tucker

Overall, the Bulls struggled across the line to be consistent in either the run game or the passing game. USF averaged just 3 yards per carry compared to 4.3 yards per carry back in 2012. The Bulls were attempting to shift from a more spread-style offense to a more run-base offense under Coach Taggart, but the transition was rough. Players struggled all year at the point attack, especially at right tackle and at the guard spots during certain points of the year. Quinterrius Eatmon had issues in pass protection and the Bulls had to shift several players at the guard spots including a true freshman in Dominique Threatt, all without Thor Jozwiak who was out for the year with heart issues. The line had to get stronger in the weight room this off-season and under Coach Paul Wulff, they have continued to develop. Nearly every player has added weight, hoping to be stronger in the trenches and help open up the running game. So entering the fall, here is what the roster looks like.

2014 roster:

Austin Reiter – 6’3″ 286 lbs. – Senior

Kofi Amichia – 6’4″ 283 lbs. – Sophomore

Kameron Davis – 6’5″ 283 lbs. – Sophomore

Mak Djulbegovic – 6’5″ 293 lbs. – Junior

Quinterrius Eatmon – 6’6″ 319 lbs. – Senior

Brynjar Gudmundsson – 6’4″ 315 lbs. – Junior

Jeremi Hall – 6’5″ 362 lbs. – Redshirt freshman

Thor Jozwiak – 6’4″ 332 lbs. – Junior

Jake Kaufman – 6’9″ 342 lbs. – Senior

Max Lang – 6’5″ 274 lbs. – Junior

Cameron Ruff – 6’3″ 309 lbs. – Redshirt freshman

Dominique Threatt – 6’1″ 326 lbs. – Sophomore

Darrell Williams – 6’5″ 303 lbs. – Senior

Along with the returning roster, the Bulls will add several new players. Here are the incoming freshmen (weights came from recruiting day, so all have updated recently):

Michael Galati – 6’2″ 285 lbs. – 2-stars

Zach Hudson – 6’5″ 280 lbs. – 3-stars

Benjamin Knox – 6’6″ 259 lbs. – 3-stars

Michael Smith – 6’3″ 315 lbs. – 3-stars

The offensive line has to be better this season, because they couldn’t get much worse compared to 2013. The Bulls return 3 full time starters at center (Reiter), right tackle (Eatmon), and left tackle (Williams). Reiter and Williams are fairly entrenched at their spots with Eatmon’s position more up for battle with players like Mak Djulbegovic and others pushing him. The real battles this fall will be for the guard spots. Dominique Threatt sawing a lot of snaps last year along with Brynjar Gudmundsson who was an every day starter, but now they are joined by Thor Jozwiak who returns even stronger than before. With only two spots left at the guard spots, it will be very tough battle for a starting job. I think Thor will take a starting job,leaving the final guard spot open for competition.

Here is my projected depth chart for 2014 (again, just my opinion):

LT: Darrell Williams/Jake Kaufman

LG: Thor Jozwiak/Threatt

C: Austin Reiter/Cameron Ruff

RG: Brynjar Gudmundsson/Dominique Threatt

RT: Quinterrius Eatmon/Mak Djulbegovic

Overall grade: C-. The unit has hit the weight room hard and the coaching staff is praising the offensive line and all the work they have put in this off-season, but will it come together on the field? 3 starters return, which is always a good thing, but how good are they? Will the Bulls be able to sort out the guard positions? There are still a lot of questions for the group and the depth chart still has to come together in the fall. On paper, everything sounds good, but seeing is believing. Until we see a dominate performance up front, the grade will stay low.

Note: I know the pre-season depth chart came out for the team already, but these are my takes of who will the jobs come the end of the fall.

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