The Buffalo Bulls offensive line is losing a lot going into the 2020 season. Long time starters LT Evin Ksiezarczyk, LG Paul Nosworthy, and RG Tomas Jack-Kurdyla are graduating, leaving just 2/5 of perhaps the strongest unit on the 2019 team. Fortunately for the Bulls, they’re getting reinforcements in the form of grad transfer LT/LG Ray Thomas-Ishman from UMass.
Ray Thomas-Ishman is an experienced player standing at an imposing 6’5” and 320 lbs. Thomas-Ishman started 34 games over the first three years of his UMass career. His freshman year Thomas-Ishman primarily played left guard before moving to left tackle for his sophomore and junior seasons. Thomas-Ishman was slated to move back to left guard for his senior season before being suspended, and deciding to redshirt and grad transfer. This versatility will be big for the Bulls after losing both their starting left tackle and left guard to graduation. Thomas-Ishman was named second team all-Independent OL by Phil Steele following his junior season, and was named first team preseason all-Independent OL by Phil Steele prior to his suspension his senior year. He was also named to the Senior Bowl preseason watchlist.
The 2020 offensive line is now shaping up to be:
LT - Gabe Wallace
LG - Ray Thomas-Ishman
C - Mike Novitsky
RG - Jacob Gall
RT - Kayode Awosika
This addition should help keep the offensive line as a strength of UB’s in 2020. With starters Novitsky and Awosika returning, and Jacob Gall receiving playing time, and often being listed as an OR on the two deep, there doesn’t figure to be much drop off at these positions. Ray Thomas-Ishman figures to slot in at LG after making the switch back at UMass and with both Paul Nosworthy and Trey Derouen graduating from the two deep. This leaves rising redshirt sophomore Gabe Wallace to slide up on the two deep and fill Evin Ksiezarczyk’s shoes, barring more transfer news or an impact freshman stepping up.
Some highlights of the UMass offensive line in 2018. Thomas-Ishman is the LT (#57).
H/T to Twitter user @cashbackonrx for catching this news: