On a breezy but perfect football Saturday in October 2013:
“And that is another Rutgers first down” yells the HighPoint Solutions Stadium public announcer. Junior Running Back Savon Huggins gets up and heads back to the huddle after a seven yard gain in the first quarter of a Big East conference game with Pittsburgh.
As Huggins heads back to the huddle he gives a high five to Junior Wide Receiver Miles Shuler before patting Redshirt Freshman Guard Derrick Nelson on his back. Nelson was on his way back to the sideline after subbing in a play for Redshirt Sophomore Guard Kaleb Johnson who was injured on the previous play. Johnson runs back on the field and takes his familiar place along side Redshirt Senior Left Tackle Andre Civil and Redshirt Senior Betim Bujari – who is spotting Redshirt Senior David Osei for the series – in the huddle.
Huggins is now back in the huddle and gives a nod to his former high school teammate and Redshirt Sophomore Right Guard Keith Lumpkin. Lumpkin gave the key block to spring him open for his first down run.
Senior Quarterback Chas Dodd steps into the huddle and leans over and calls the next play. Redshirt Junior Brandon Coleman smiles as it is another play action pass that should leave him in single coverage across the middle. He has already burned the Panthers for a 34 yard slant and run for a touchdown earlier the quarter.
Bujari warns Redshirt Senior Right Tackle Antwan Lowery to look out for a blitzing Pittsburgh Linebacker. Lowery agrees and the team’s offense breaks the huddle.
The ball is snapped. Dodd drops back, this time Coleman is covered and so is Shuler covered deep. Dodd dumps it down to Junior Tight End Tyler Kroft for a 9 yard gain.
2nd down and 1 at the Panthers 47……
Key Offensive Line Verbals
If you are able to imagine yourself seeing a typical play going down as the above representation then you are starting to see what is being formed with the latest offensive line recruits. With Monday’s verbal commitment of Derrick Nelson, a 6-4, 280 Offensive Lineman from Washington D.C., the future of the Rutgers offensive line is starting to take shape. Within the past month Rutgers has received three key offensive line commitments. Nelson, Brandon Arcidiacono who is rivals.com 7th ranked Center in the nation out of Archbishop Wood of Pennsylvania, and 4-star Offensive Tackle Chris Muller also out of Pennsylvania, make for a tremendous trio. Combined with 2011 recruits, 4-star Offensive Tackle Keith Lumpkin and 3-Star Guard Kaleb Johnson the future of the offensive line is looking up. Additionally, promising players from the 2009 2010 class like Antwan Lowey, Andre Civil, David Osei, Betim Bujari and Chris Fonti still have several years of eligibility left.
Now it is time to close our eyes and imagine. Here is my projected lineup for the Offensive Line in 2013:
Andre Civil LT
Kaleb Johnson LG
David Osei C
Keith Lumpkin RG
Antwan Lowery RT
Betim Bujari C/G
Derrick Nelson G
Chris Muller T
Brandon Arcidiacono C
Let me know what you see when you look into your crystal ball for 2013.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated since originally published. It was an oversight to not have included Antonio Lowery, Andre Civil and David Osei – all current Juniors, but with Sophomore eligibility in the original post. My apologies – 2013 seems so far away and these guys will still be there? A mistake that is actually a good thing! Good to see we will have some depth in the OL in the upcoming years – and perhaps a strong line as well.
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