Position breakdown: O-line
Published: Sunday, July 7, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 8:37 p.m.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the third in a series breaking down the Florida football roster. Next Sunday, we'll look at the defensive line.
PROBABLE DEPTH CHART
-- Trenton Brown
-- Cameron Dillard
-- Roderick Johnson
To be a successful downhill running team, it certainly helps to be strong and experienced in the middle of the offensive line — and that's what the Gators should be. Center Jonotthan Harrison and right guard Jon Halapio have combined to start 60 games and both are proven players in the rugged SEC. Left guard Max Garcia sat out last season per NCAA transfer rules, but started 12 games at left tackle for Maryland in 2011 before deciding to relocate to Florida. The Halapio-Harrison-Garcia combination gives the Gators experience and an imposing look in the middle of their offensive front. Garcia isn't the only key transfer who could start on the offensive line. Tyler Moore will enter fall camp listed as the starter at right tackle, a position he held throughout the spring while last year's starter, Chaz Green, was recovering from offseason ankle surgery. Moore was a highly rated prospect coming out of Clearwater Countryside who signed with Nebraska and started four games for the Cornhuskers in 2011, the most by a true freshman offensive lineman in school history. Moore is a big, physical player who can play guard or tackle and also might see some reps at center. Perhaps the Florida lineman with the biggest upside is true sophomore D.J. Humphries, a five-star prospect who started three games and saw considerable playing time last season. Humphries is still a bit undersized at 280, but he's quick and athletic and has the ability to cope with the speed rushers that left tackles consistently face in the SEC. Redshirt senior Kyle Koehne has played a lot of football for the Gators and he's a key player because of his ability to play all five positions.
As it has been over the past several seasons, lack of depth up front continues to be an issue. It didn't help that a potential starter, guard Jessamen Dunker, was arrested this past winter and charged with driving a stolen scooter on campus. The charge was recently dropped, but Dunker and Will Muschamp had already made the decision that Dunker would be better off continuing his career elsewhere. Depth is such a concern that redshirt freshman Quinteze Williams was moved from defensive tackle to offensive tackle in the spring. Depth in the fall will have to come from four incoming freshmen, a little bit of a scary proposition in the SEC, especially when one, Roderick Johnson, is still trying to become academically eligible for the fall.
YOUNG GUY TO WATCH
True freshman Trenton Brown has the size to possibly have an impact at left tackle, but an even better candidate to do that is redshirt sophomore Trip Thurman, a somewhat forgotten Urban Meyer recruit who missed the spring after undergoing shoulder surgery. Muschamp said Thurman was impressive in practice last fall and has a chance to be a very good SEC lineman. If he stays healthy, Thurman could be a factor at both tackle and guard, providing much-needed depth.
RANKING THE SEC O-LINES
6. Texas A&M
7. South Carolina
8. Mississippi State
9. Ole Miss