Posted on: July 27, 2009 8:48 am

2009 Florida Gators Football Previews: OLs

Written by Chris Canada, Gatorsfirst.com Co-Founder

The long and dull offseason is finally coming to a close. Anticipation has never been higher in Gainesville, as last year's BCS champions are looking to do what no team in the BCS era has been able to accomplish: win a second consecutive championship.

With all of the players from last year's team coming back to defend their title, introductions are probably not needed. However, the Gatorsfirst.com team will give you the positional breakdowns you deserve to be fully ready for the 2009 season.

The offensive line took a had this offseason as three starters graduated. Phil Trautwein, Jim Tartt and Jason Watkins will sorely be missed. However, with a string of injuries last season, a lot of quality young linemen got their chance to show off their skills. Here is a 2009 preview for the offensive line...


Returning Starters

The menacing twins Mike Pouncey (Jr., No.55, RG, 6'5'', 320lbs) and Maurkice Pouncey (Jr., No.56, LG, 6'5'', 318lbs) are back to protect Tim Tebow and create gaping lanes for our speedy RBs to run through. Both have started many games in their first two seasons. Mike will be at right guard and Maurkice will start at left guard.

Coming off All-SEC team selection last season, both will be watched closely by NFL scouts. If they both play up at the same they have for the past two years, I can very well see them leave for the NFL following this season.

Carl Johnson (RJr., No.57, LT, 6'5'', 342lbs) is a big boy. At 342 lbs, he is our biggest starter. He started eight games last year at left guard and was a beast. This season he’ll be moving to left tackle to take over for Phil Trautwein.


New Starters

Marcus Gilbert (RJr., No.76, RT, 6'5'', 320lbs) started two games last season, replacing Jim Tartt who was injured. He’s played in 26 games in his career, so he has plenty of playing experience.

Another new starter is Sam Robey (RFr., No.50, C, 6'4'', 291lbs). Robey was slated to get a ton of playing time last year, but was derailed by a pre-season injury. He dressed for the SEC and BCS championship games, but did not play. This season he should be starting at center, which will move Maurkice Pouncey over to left guard.



There are plenty of good young players eager to get some playing time. James Wilson (RSo., No.66, OL, 6'5'', 329lbs) got plenty of playing time last year, as did Maurice Hurt (RJr., No.74, OL, 6'2'', 305lbs). Both should be backing up the Pounceys at the guard positions, and will see a lot of playing time.

Corey Hobbs (RJr., No.79, OL, 6'3'', 300lbs) played in eight games last season, and will be vital in backing up Sam Robey at center. David Young (So., No.78, OL, 6'4'', 303lbs) will also be a back up for Marcus Gilbert at the right tackle position, but could see some time at center, as he's been used there during spring practice.

One of the most interesting stories this offseason was the move of Matt Patchan (So., No.71, OL, 6'6'', 260lbs) back to offensive line. He played in 11 games last season as a defensive tackle. He was a highly touted offensive line prospect in high school, so moving back to his natural position will probably work out the best for the Gators. He’ll be backing up Carl Johnson at left tackle.


Other OLs

The Gators did a great deal of recruiting for the offensive line this past off-season. They ended up signing seven OL recruits: Xavier Nixon, Nick Alajajian, Jonotthan Harrison, Cole Gillam, Christopher Guido, Jon Halapio, and Kyle Koehne. Nixon, Alajajian, and Harrison are players to look at for the future and expect to get some playing time, but not much. The others are expected to redshirt. 

Jim Barrie, Shawn Schmieder, Gary Beemer, William Steinmann, and Bryan Jones are on the team roster, but aren’t expected to see much playing time.

I've already discussed the QBsRBs, and WRs/TEs. Lok for the Defensive Line preview tomorrow!

You can find the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com