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December 13, 2013

2014 positional breakdown: Offensive line



The Wolfpack suffered a disappointing season in 2013, so it's only natural to turn attention towards the future. The Wolfpacker examines each position group entering the offseason to take stock of exactly what the team lost and brings back for next year.

Jan. update: When the 2014 spring football roster was updated in early January, fifth-year senior G/C Cam Fordham was no longer listed on the squad.

Returning starters


• Redshirt senior left tackle Rob Crisp
2013: 2 games started (candidate to redshirt and return for fifth year)*
* - On Dec. 4, Crisp tweeted: "Missing all my boys over at ncsu every second. We'll be reunited soon and trust me when I say this, I'm coming in hot...so get ready."
Career: 36 games played, 13 games started

• Redshirt senior right tackle Tyson Chandler
2013: 11 games started
Career: 36 games played, 23 games started

• Redshirt junior tackle/guard/center Joe Thuney
2013: 12 games started; named Jim Ritcher Offensive Lineman Of The Year
Career: 20 games played, 12 games started

• Junior center Quinton Schooley
2013: 12 games started, played every snap
Career: 12 games started

• Redshirt junior guard Alex Barr
2013: 12 games played, 10 games started
Career: 20 games played, 10 games started

Returning players


• Redshirt senior tackle/guard Andy Jomantas
2013: 11 games played, 1 game started
Career: 32 games played, 1 game started

• Senior guard Ali Kassem
2013 and career: 12 games played

• Redshirt sophomore guard Bryce Kennedy
Career: Has not played

• Redshirt sophomore center John Tu'uta
Career: Has not played

Losses


• Starting left guard Duran Christophe
2013: 12 games started

• Back-up guard Cameron Fordham
2013: Did not play
Career: 10 games played, 1 game started

2014 additions


• Redshirt freshman tackle Patrick Roane
Ranked as a three-star prospect coming out of Hope Mills (N.C.) Grays Creek

• Redshirt freshman guard Tylar Reagan
Three-star recruit ranked as the nation's No. 28 OG and Florida's No. 96 senior coming out of Fruit Cove (Fla.) Bartram Trail

• Redshirt freshman center Cole Blankenship
Ranked as a three-star prospect coming out of Mocksville (N.C.) Davie County, enrolled early

Commits


• Three-star Tyler Jones, Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson
Ranked as the nation's No. 50 OT and Georgia's No. 50 senior

• Three-star Terronne Prescod, Decatur (Ga.) Columbia
Ranked as the nation's No. 24 OG and Georgia's No. 51 senior; will enroll early

• Three-star Eric Shute, Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Glenbard West
Ranked as Illinois' No. 35 prospect

• Three-star Tony Adams, Charlotte (N.C.) Independence
Will enroll early

Notes


• Last year NC State entered the season with just three offensive linemen who had more than one career start, and that included Crisp, who was lost for the year after two contests.

Next fall NCSU will boast five returning big men who have started at least 10 times in their careers. Nearly all of the returners are upperclassmen with a redshirt year under their belts, and eight experienced linemen have combined for 72 starts and 178 games played.

• Thuney has played each position up front in the last 12 months, except for left guard, which was where Christophe started every game this fall. He played center last season and started 2013 at the position. However after Schooley emerged as an option at the pivot in training camp, Thuney was moved to right guard.

When Chandler was not able to play in the season opener, Thuney bumped out and started on the end with Jomantas at right guard. Thuney slid back inside the following week, before he had to flip to left tackle, a position he had never played before the year, for the injured Crisp.

Thuney spent the rest of the year on the blind side and was praised by head coach Dave Doeren for his performance. He was also named the team's Offensive Lineman of the Year, but the squad hopes to have him back on the interior next year, where they can take advantage of his athleticism.

• Schooley was a late addition to the NC State recruiting class from Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan. He actually didn't play in a game as a freshman at Butler, but caught the eye of offensive line mentor Mike Uremovich during the spring evaluation period.

He still expected to return to Butler in the fall and play center, which was a new position to him. NC State extended a scholarship offer for the fall on Memorial Day, Schooley quickly accepted while on a visit and the rest was history.

Schooley was the reason that Thuney was able to move from center and step in wherever was needed for the Pack. Despite never having played center before, he played every snap for the team - he was the only lineman to do so in 2013.

• Chandler will lead the NCSU offense next year with 36 games played and 23 games started. Crisp has also played in 36 games during his career.

•The big men helped NCSU rush for 1,952 yards in 2013, which marked the Pack's highest total since 2002, when they ran for 2,017 yards in 14 games. State's average of 162.7 rushing yards per game was the program's finest mark since 1997 (178.8).

The Wolfpacker's sources have given positive reviews of both Roane, who was an under-the-radar recruit, and Reagan. Roane was even listed on the depth chart a few times this year, although his redshirt never seemed to be in danger of coming off. Even if they can't crack the rotation, which will be flush with upperclassmen next year, they are big building blocks for the future.

• Two incoming freshmen, Prescod and Adams, have already signed and will enroll in January.



Previous positional breakdowns:


- Quarterbacks



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