I realized I needed to step up the pace on these if I was going to get all the positions done by the first practice next Tuesday. The offensive line is a little harder to gage on what these players need to improve for a variety of reasons. One of them being that these guys aren’t talked about near as much. Secondly, I don’t know as much about the offensive line as I do the skill positions. Because of this, my format on this position will be a little different.
- Tackles: Cody Habben, Drew Shaeffer
- Guards: Ryan Tolar, Senio Kelemente
- Center: Mykena Ikehara
This is close to the lineup that had that dominating performance against Cal in the season finale. Cody Habben is a senior who has been a steady player for the Dawgs. He will be out of spring practice with an injury but should have no problem getting back in time for Fall camp. Although no position is safe, Habben has his spot pretty much wrapped up. Drew Shaeffer is a red-shirt sophomore who started the last half of the year at tackle. He is also solid and comes into the spring as a favorite for the position. Ryan Tolar, a senior, has played just about everywhere for the Huskies. Last year he was at center and did a commendable job. A move to guard will help him become a high level pac-10 offensive lineman. Jr. Senio Kelemente and RS So. Mykena Ikehara have the most potential out of this group. Senio started his career at UW on defense and then was moved to offense last year. Coaches have talked about moving him to tackle but for now he’s a guard and a good one at that. Mykena Ikehara could have been the starter last year but he became very sick in Fall camp and lost a good deal of weight. Ikehara played the last couple games and did very well. He will be a very good center for UW in the coming years.
Backups to watch out for:
- Tackles: Skyler Fancher, Mark Armelin
- Guards: Greg Christine, Nick Wood, Scott Shugert
Skyler Fancher, a junior, was in competition for a starting job last year but then broke his leg in camp. He is a solid player who will challenge Habben and Shaeffer for playing time. Hopefully his recovery from the leg injury is complete. Greg Christine, a senior, was a walk-on last year that won the starting job out of camp. He struggled at times on the line and then broke his leg in a game. The coaches like the guy and he has shown that he can play on this level. Jr Nick Wood is another guy who was moved over from the defensive side of the ball. He adapted quickly and played quite bit by the end of the year. He was very solid in the Huskies win against Cal and could challenge for a starting job. Mark Armelin and Scott Shugert round out depth and, unless something bad happens or they have a spectacular spring, probably won’t see the field.
Overall Position Overview: The Huskies will have more depth here than they have had in years. With 7 freshman coming in the Fall, the Huskies have finally begun to realize how important depth on offensive line is. Unfortunately, those guys won’t be here until the fall but the starters we have, along with a few solid backups, make me believe that this group will be solid by the time September rolls around. They improved throughout last year and there’s no reason to think that the improvement will stop this spring.