The Eagles may have the best offensive line in their new Atlantic Coast Conference; their combination of size and agility will be used to wear down opponents, pound the football, and give quarterback Quinton Porter plenty of time to make throws.
“The perception of our team as powerful, hard hitting and tough nosed team, I’m fine with that,” said senior offensive tackle Jeremy Trueblood. “I kind of like that.”
It’s arguable that nobody hits harder than Trueblood along the offensive line. At 6’9”, 330 pounds, he has the prototypical build for an NFL left tackle. He was slowed somewhat in 2004 by injuries and illness, but Trueblood and the Eagles are 100% ready to start the season against the Cougars of BYU.
“I think we have a lot of good players here and I think we have a great team, a very close knit team,” said Trueblood. “People will be surprised at what we do this year.”
While Trueblood- heading into his third year as a starter- is certainly one of the veteran leaders on the offensive line, another senior was named captain of the offense: center Patrick Ross.
“It’s a real honor, mostly because it’s voted on by all of your teammates- That they have all of the confidence in you to vote you captain,” said Ross. “It’s a big honor because there have been some pretty good captains in the past.”
Over the past few seasons the (extended) offensive line has had a strangle-hold on the captaincy, from Augie Hoffmann to Dave Kashetta to the newly-appointed Ross. More than that, however, the offensive line has been the anchor of the BC offense for as long as Tom O’Brien has been on the Heights.
While one can argue that the unit of two years ago with Chris Snee, Hoffmann and company was one of BC’s finest, the 2005 edition might have them beat. With Ross, Trueblood and junior guard Josh Beekman all earning preseason accolades, the Eagles are loaded with talent up front. Sophomore tackle Ty Hall could probably start at 90% of the schools in the country, but for now he’s a reserve on BC’s offensive line. Ross agrees that BC’s strength on the line lies in the team’s depth.
“It’s not just the first string but it’s the second string too, everyone is really comfortable with each other,” said Ross. “We get along in a weird way. We’re tough on each other, but it’s just because we get along so well.”
In 2004 the offensive line unit of Trueblood, James Marten, Ross, Beekman and Gosder Cherilus blocked for three different 100-yard running backs. The Eagles accumulated over 1500 yards on the ground, despite BC’s streak of seven consecutive 1,000-yard rushers coming to an end.
The Eagles will bring their style of smash-mouth football to the ACC, and the sky is the limit for the offense. It all starts with the Eagles’ veteran offensive line which will be expected to lead the way and dominate opposing defensive fronts.
“If we stay together and play up to our ability, I think we can do really well this year,” said a confident Ross.
The offensive line’s first test will come on Saturday in Provo, Utah. If the Eagles are to win the season opener, the offensive line will have to come up big in the trenches and stay away from holding and false start penalties.
Chemistry won’t be an issue. BC fans are hoping for a dominant, disciplined season from BC’s offensive line.
Michael Chevallier is the publisher of EagleInsider.com. He can be reached at EagleInsiderGuru@aol.com.