The Massachusetts Daily Collegian’s football coverage will offer daily positional breakdown’s of the Massachusetts football team in the days leading up to the start of the 2014 summer training camp. Today, the focus is on the offensive line. You can find previous breakdowns at the bottom of the page.
Returnees: Elijah Wilkinson (SO), Tyshon Henderson (SO), Fabian Hoeller (SO), Femi Oyewole (RS SO), Matt Sparks (JR), Tyrell Smith (RS SO), Enock Asante (SO), Josh Bruns (RS JR)
Newcomers: Sam Zeff (RS FR), Dmitri Angelas (FR), Anthony Fernandez (FR), Dan DiNicola (FR), Ryan Johnson (JR), Rich Queen (RS FR), Liam Porter (RS JR)
Key Losses: Anthony Dima, Vincent Westcarr, David Osei
Projected Starters: LT Tyrell Smith, LG Elijah Wilkinson, C Matt Sparks, RG Josh Bruns, RT Tyshon Henderson
The Skinny: In 2013, UMass was the beneficiary of an offensive line ladled with veteran experience and continuity, as injuries didn’t impact the composition of the line until very late in the season.
At the outset of this year, the Minutemen simply don’t have that luxury.
Gone are mainstays Anthony Dima (pursuing a professional career), Vincent Westcarr and David Osei. And while UMass does return a bevy of players with experience in the system, finding the right mix will presumably take some time.
What the Minutemen start with is a mixture of promise and potential combined with sheer physical size. Sophomore’s Tyrell Smith and Tyshon Henderson worked as bookends in the spring game with Smith starting at left tackle and Henderson at right tackle. Henderson stands considerably larger at 6-foot-7, 340 pounds and has experience at both tackle positions while Smith measures in at 6-foot-5, 295 pounds and spent last season as the starting left guard.