Posted: 6/30/2013 12:33:34 PM
Last week we wrapped up a look at the defense and special teams, this week we take a look at the offense, a until that despite the struggles of the defense last year, may have the most question marks.
The one area of the offense that may be in the best shape is the offensive line which will bring back nearly every starter besides at center.
Duke’s o-line will be anchored by 6-foot-3 inch, 320 pound guard, Laken Tomlinson. Tomlinson was named to the Athlon Sports All-ACC team earlier in June. A redshirt junior, Tomlinson has been a two year starter and was named to the All-ACC Freshman team back in 2011.
He will be joined by another experienced and talented guard in redshirt senior Dave Harding at the other guard position. Harding has also played some at center as well. The center position could be a battle between redshirt sophomore Matt Skura and redshirt senior John Coleman who was a top reserve guard before being moved to center.
The center position will be crucial, especially in Duke’s spread formation as the quarterback operates mostly out of the shotgun formation. Whoever wins will also be the leader of the offensive line so it will be an interesting battle to watch.
Tackle is another position that has some experience and some depth. Takoby Cofield and Perry Simmons are the entrenched starters. Cofield, a redshirt junior will start at left tackle with Simmons, a redshirt senior will start at the right tackle. Both are experienced and that experience should help an offensive unit that is replacing several key components from last year’s 6-7 squad that went to its first bowl in 18 years.
Duke has some depth potential depth with their roster on the line, and given the recent injury woes that the program has faced, that is a good things.
Marcus Aprahamian should compete for time at guard, as well as Lucas Patrick, two guys with some experience under their belt. Three names to keep an eye on are younger guys but who could end up seeing action: Casey Blaser, Sterling Korona, and Gabe Brandner are all guys who could see spot duty and potentially compete for more playing time on the offensive line.
The good news is this line has a lot of experience and potential depth making it perhaps one, if not the strongest units on this team as a whole. Duke will still be a pass oriented team, but with such a talented pool of running backs it will be just as important for the running blocking to be better.
This is a unit that should help that happen.
Projected starters: Matt Skura-center, Laken Tomlinson- guard, Dave Harding-guard, Tokoby Cofield-tackle, Perry Simmons-tackle
Key Reserves : Marcus Aprahamian, Lucas Patrick, Casey Blaser, Sterling Korona, Gabe Brandner, John Coleman
More Position Breakdowns:
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