Nebraska Cornhuskers: Offensive Line Looking To Continue Consistency
The offensive line might have been the most consistent unit for the Nebraska Cornhuskers last season. While certain individuals were up and down last season, as a unit the offensive line was solid. Spencer Long had perhaps the best individual season of those returning, being named to the all team B1G 10 honorable mention list.
With Long coing back, he is set to anchor a line that expects to be strong once again. Barney Cotton has been working on helping the line be more agile, yet still physically dominating. The Huskers were not afraid to rotate linemen last season, usually rotating in and out ten guys. So who should we expect to see out there?
Jeremiah Sirles, after a strong 2011 campaign, is expected to be out on the field come the first Husker drive of the season. Tyler Moore and Brent Qvale are also expected to start for the Huskers.
However, the last two positions could be the most intriguing for the Cornhuskers.
Everyone knows the size and strength of Andrew Rodriguez, but many have also heard of his lack of effort in practice. Rodriguez was a nationally heralded recruit from Aurora, Nebraska, but has not lived up to expectations so far on campus. Seung Hoon Choi was one of the most consistent linemen last season, filling in not only when Rodriguez was injured, but also when Rodriguez was playing poorly. Expect it to be a fierce competition, but I think Rodriguez will win out because he finds that fire he lacked the first few years.
The second intriguing position battle will be the center position. Mike Caputo, the four year starter for the Huskers, is moved on, and now three players are battling to become the starter. Mark Pelini, Cole Pensick, and Ryne Reeves are all great players, but unfortunately only one can play at a time. To that extent, I think redshirt freshmen Reeves will get the starting nod, but expect Pensick to get plenty of game time action.
With a unit that has to keep quarterback Taylor Martinez upright, continuity is going to be a key. The line also struggled at times to open holes against bigger fronts, which is another issue that they will have to fix. However, I think Coach Cotton will have used both spring and fall practices as critical teaching times, and this unit should be ready to be above average in the B1G 10 this fall.