Sunday, August 26, 2012

Aggie position previews: offensive line

(Valerian Ume-Ezeoke returns as the Aggies starting center/Robin Zielinski)

We preview each position on the New Mexico State football team throughout training camp and leading up to the season. The series continues today with a look at the offensive line:

This unit could very well be the No. 1 key for the Aggie offense in 2012.

The team should be set at left tackle with junior Davonte Wallace as well as center where Valerian Ume-Ezeoke lines up. Wallace is a three-year starter and perennial All-WAC player at his position, while Ume-Ezeoke started as a freshman last year, a smart player and good athlete.

The top-two guards on the roster should be also be adequate, with returning senior Andrew Kersten and redshirt freshman Andy Cunningham.

We’ll see if right offensive tackle is solidified at the start of the season. Dada Richards is a junior college transfer who should get the starting nod, while redshirt freshman Faison McKinnis and true freshman Peter Foreman were getting snaps as well during camp. There could be more movement here during the year.

Of course, any injuries to this unit could really hurt overall — the top-four players have to stay healthy throughout the season. Their task: to protect Manley and open holes in the running game, allowing the Aggies to produce enough offensively.

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