After losing three seniors to graduation, and with two of those seniors ending up in NFL camps and the third in the CFL there is plenty of playing time up for grabs this fall. The graduations notwithstanding, there is actually plenty of depth along the offensive line, with several young redshirt freshmen looking to step in and make an impact alongside the few returning veterans. It's an old saying that football games are won and lost in the trenches, and it will be no different for this year's UB squad, as the offensive line will dictate the success of Coach Leipold's offense.
LT - John Kling, Sr., 6-8, 320 - After starting 16 games over the last two years, Kling brings a wealth of experience to the most important position on the offensive line: protecting Joe Licata's blindside. Kling will make the switch to left tackle after spending last season at right tackle, where he was the road grading bookend to current Ottawa REDBLACK Jake Silas. Kling brings with him legitimate NFL size (they don't call him Kling Kong for nothing) and strength to stonewall any bull rush that will be thrown at him. Kling will be the cornerstone of the offensive line this season and will look to keep Joe Licata's jersey clean; and the longer its kept clean the better the offense as a whole will perform.
LG - Dillon Guy, Sr., 6-4, 318 - After sitting out last season as a medical redshirt, Guy seems to be back to his pre-injury form and will look to make an impact in the run game and form a formidable duo with LT John Kling. Guy appeared in 11 games and started 6 as a true freshman way back in 2011 and was a difference maker at guard, since he's been one of the team's top reserves and has spot started throughout the years. In his final season Guy will look to start every game for the first time in his career, but there will be plenty of young guns looking to compete for playing time.
C - James O'Hagan, R-Fr., 6-2, 293 - One of several redshirt freshmen along the offensive line, O'Hagan has been running with the first team throughout the spring and looks to have locked down the starting center spot following the departure of Trevor Sales. The center-quarterback exchange is one of the most important sequences of every single play, and inconsistencies in the chemistry between quarterback and center can result in dire mistakes for the offense. O'Hagan is a former champion wrestler with ideal size for a center and will hopefully develop into a linchpin for the offensive line.
RG - Brandon Manosalvas, So., 6-4, 307 - Appearing in 9 games and starting two as a freshman, Manosalvas has been working with the first unit offensive line since the start of the spring practices. Manosalvas brings excellent size to the right side of the line and will look to be part of a road grading tandem with Bobby Blodgett. However, Manosalvas will have several players breathing down his neck for playing time.
RT - Bobby Blodgett, Sr., 6-5, 310 - A jack-of-all-trades lineman that has played at both right guard and right tackle during his tenure at UB, Blodgett brings with him versatility and experience that will be invaluable to the offensive line. Blodgett was the starting right guard for the past two seasons, helping pave the way for two of the highest rushing seasons in program history. Blodgett has good size for the right tackle spot, and even if he may not be the best in pass protection, he and Manosalvas as a pair will look to be the lead men in Lance Leipold's power running game to lead Anthone Taylor to another record breaking season.
Skylar Hartley, R-Fr., 6-1, 323 - Hartley is one of several redshirt freshmen that will be fighting for playing time at center or guard. Hartley has been the 2nd team center for much of the spring, and he brings a stout and strong presence to the interior of the UB line.
Todd Therrien, Sr., 6-1, 287 - Therrien has been a reserve offensive lineman after making the switch from the defensive line after walking on to the team and earning a scholarship. Therrien will likely be a key reserve for the interior backing up both guard positions and center.
Matt Murphy, R-Fr., 6-5, 301 - One of the more intriguing prospects on the offensive line, Murphy, the Ireland native will be the primary backup to John Kling at left tackle as he has led the 2nd team offensive line throughout the spring. Murphy is a technically sound blocker and will be the heir apparent to Kling at the left tackle spot, he may see time as a backup this season but expect him to be the starter next season.
Roubbens Joseph, Jr., 6-4, 300 - Coming to UB as a JUCO transfer from Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York, Joseph will be competing for playing time at right guard behind Brandon Manosalvas. He played tackle for HVCC and was ranked as one of the top 50 tackles in JUCO, but will kick inside to guard where he can put his strength to use in the power run game.
Tyler O'Henly, So., 6-7, 302 - The London, Ontario native will be competing for playing time at tackle this season after appearing in two games as a reserve last season. O'Henly will likely only play in a reserve role this season but will challenge for the starting right tackle job in the future.
Trey Bowman, Jr., 6-4, 285 - A late addition to Leipold's first recruiting class, Bowman comes to UB by way of Iowa Western CC where he helped lead the Reivers to the NJCAA Championship Game and was their top offensive lineman. Bowman is a name to watch as he's stepped into the left guard spot on the second team offense and, by all accounts, has performed well. Bowman has the skill and experience to seriously challenge for one of the starting guard spots this season.
Andy Fidler, R-Fr., 6-6, 284 - Fidler is another one of the deep class of redshirt freshmen on the offensive line and has been working at both guard and right tackle on the second unit offensive line. Fidler, like many of the other linemen will be looking to work through the logjam to see the field this fall. Fidler also has the Wisconsin connection with head coach Lance Leipold, he played high school in Port Washington, WI and is the only Wisconsin native on the roster.
Albert McCoy, Jr., 6-3, 294 - After making the move to the offensive line after playing on the defensive line in his true freshman season, McCoy will likely be a key reserve for several spots on the line. He's worked at right tackle and at guard, and will be a veteran presence off the bench for the Bulls.
Bill Galley, R-Fr., 6-7, 285 - A local product who was a former walk-on to the team who will provide depth at offensive tackle.
Jacob Byron, R-So., 6-2, 241 - A former United States Marine who walked onto the team, Byron was originally at tight end but was moved to the offensive line. He'll likely see the field as an extra offensive lineman in jumbo sets and could even see time at tight end or in an H-Back role.
David Meyer, R-Fr., 6-3, 298 - Another former walk-on who will provide depth along the interior of the offensive line.
Evin Ksiezarczyk, Fr., 6-5, 315 - A three year starter at offensive tackle for West Seneca East High School in the Southtowns, Ksiezarczyk brings excellent size to the UB offensive line and will likely redshirt this upcoming season due to the depth in front of him at tackle.
The Olympic previews have wrapped up, but be sure to check them out, and take a peek through the other position groups that we've been covering all week long. Only one group to go!
Football Positional Previews:
Olympic Team Previews: