March 15, 2007

Spring Position Battles - Offensive Line

If there is one position that Kirk Ferentz takes pride in, it is the offensive line. In 2007, Ferentz and his offensive line coach Reese Morgan will have the task of replacing three starters. A quick at the offensive line and you get the feeling that just about every spot will be up for grabs this spring and into the fall. Two years ago, Iowa landed a top group of prep lineman and this should be the year where several step forward.

Since the legendary line of 2002, the Iowa Hawkeyes have played a bit of mix and match up front on offense. While there have been stars like Robert Gallery in 2003, a cohesive line free of injuries has not emerged since then.

The feeling is that this year, the Iowa coaches would like to settle on a starting group early on and get the continuity that has been lacking at times up front. More importantly, they hope to avoid the injury bug that has made it necessary to move players from the right side to the left and from guard to tackle or perhaps center.

Right now, things appear to be somewhat wide open for a few spots coming into spring practice as the Hawkeyes look to replace Mike Elgin, Mike Jones, and Marshal Yanda.

One thing that becomes apparent about this line is that they will be very big. From left to right, Iowa could go 6-foot-6, 6-foot-7, 6-foot-3, 6-foot-9, and 6-foot-5 and they will have plenty of beef to go with it.

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