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    Saturday, December 22, 2007

    Examining The Impact Of Missing Players: Offensive Line

    As any fan knows, in football it all starts up front with the offensive line. For the Music City Bowl,the Seminoles will be without left tackle Daron Rose, right guard Jacky Claude, and at tight end Charlie Graham. So what will the offensive line look like and what will be the effects? The offensive line for the Noles seemed to be coming together and now with new additions, it will more than likely affect the timing, rhythm and coordination that the starters had developed on the line.

    Rodney Hudson who has played at left guard will be playing left tackle in the bowl game. The left tackle or blind side tackle is generally going against the speed rusher, a guy whose responsibility is to rush the quarterback so it is critical to have someone that can defend against the rush and avoid Weatherford being sacked. Hudson posted a grade of 80% or better in three of his final seven games including an astonishing grade of 89% versus Florida. He missed only five assignments all season, allowed only one sack and he had 13 knockdowns in the last four games. Hudson was not flagged for a penalty all season and he graded out at 80% or better in passing situations six times in his final seven games. This will be a key position to watch in the bowl game.

    In Hudson's place at left tackle will be senior David Overmyer. He is experienced and although he has not started this year, he has started 18 games in his career. He has also played in 35 games in three seasons with only Jacky Claude and John Frady having logged more career starts along the offensive line. He also has played both tackle spots in his career.

    At center, Ryan McMahon will continue to be the starter at one of the most critical positions on offense.

    On the right side of the ball, the Noles will be without right guard Jacky Claude. Evan Bellamy will be playing at right guard in his place. Bellamy will be one of the untested players on the offensive line for the Noles in the bowl.

    At right tackle, Shannon Boatman who has been the starter will be the starter in the bowl game.

    At tight end, Charlie Graham is out for the bowl and in his place will be senior John Frady. Frady has playing experience at center but is untested at the tight end position. He was one of only two players on the line to start every game in 2006 at center and has now started 21 games in his career. At 6'4" and 270 he has the size but as a starter he will be tested in the bowl game. I doubt if there will be many pass plays to the tight end in the game.

    Unofficial Offensive Line Depth Chart:

    LT: Rodney Hudson, Evan Bellamy
    LG: David Overmyer
    C: Ryan McMahon, John Frady
    RG: Evan Bellamy, Will Furlong (redshirting)
    RT: Shannon Boatman
    TE: John Frady, Josh Doobie

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