Anyone who knows the game of football will tell you that an offense is useless without a solid offensive line. Last season, thanks to injuries, the Mustangs had to rely on the younger guys to step up and fill in for more experienced starters.
When asked about the offensive line situation last season June Jones told PonyStampede.com, “Pretty much all of our young guys last year got opportunities so we pretty much know what we have. I think that when they get a chance to practice more, they get better. We played a lot of true freshman last year. I think a lot of offensive lineman and young kids know what is expected of them now.”
This is why bringing in solid recruits every season is a must for June Jones who will be welcoming two new O-lineman to the squad in 2010.
Scout.com 3-star offensive tackle Ben Gottschalk from Sherman Oaks, California is the 64th ranked tackle in the country. Gottschalk had offers from around the country including Colorado State, Iowa State, Kansas, Nevada and San Diego stat but chose to come to Dallas. He’s a big guy at 6-5 257 lbs but is lighter than the average D-1 lineman. Gottschalk uses this to his advantage stating to PonyStampede.com, “I'm very athletic. I'm lighter than most OLs and can move around well.”
Gottschalk no doubt brings a unique game to the offensive line position, but with football growing into more of a speed man’s game than ever before, I believe it is always a plus to have athletic O-lineman on your roster.
Of course with every young player there is always room for improvement. Gottschalk mentioned to PonyStampede.com, “I want to improve my run blocking. Especially my zone blocking too. I need to stay lower and be more flexible.”
Then there is 2-star guard Ashton Duhe from Destrehan, Louisiana. Duhe is the 116th ranked guard in the country and turned down Louisiana and Louisiana Tech to come to SMU. When asked about why he chose SMU Duhe told PonyStampede.com, “I really liked and also got along with the offensive line coach. He told me what I needed to hear. He said that I could come in and have a chance to start as a freshman. That is what I'm looking for.”
Duhe’s game is the opposite of Gottschalk’s. At 6-1 303 lbs Duhe won’t be winning any foot races, but because he plays in the interior of the offensive line his size makes him difficult to handle as a D-lineman.
With experienced players returning and recovering from injuries, it is a popular thought that SMU will have a solid offensive line to start the season. However, as we saw last year anything can happen, and SMU could look for these two young mustangs to contribute.
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