John Denton's Knights Insider: Season Preview Part 4 of 9 - Offensive Line

July 30, 2010

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Previous Positional Previews: QB | RB | WR

By John Denton

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Here is a breakdown of UCF's offensive line, an area where the Knights spent a bulk of the spring working to improve the athleticism and physicality of the group.

Training camp opens Aug. 5 and the Knights kick off the regular season on Sept. 4 at Bright House Networks Stadium against South Dakota.

POSITION: Offensive line

PROJECTED STARTERS: LT Nick Pieschel (6-7, 299, RJr.); LG Cliff McCray (6-2, 316, RJr.); C Jordan Rae (6-2, 264, RSo.); RG Theo Goins (6-4, 322, RSo.); RT Jah Reid (6-7, 326, RSr.).

KEY RESERVES: T Chris Martin (6-5, 283, RFr.); G Chad Hounshell (6-4, 291, RSo.); C Zac Norris (6-3, 290, RJr.); G Rey Cunha (6-3, 294, RFr.); T Abre Leggins (6-4, 325, RSr.).

PLAYER TO WATCH: Jah Reid. The massive, 6-foot-7 right tackle made huge strides as a junior, raising the level of his play to All-Conference USA first team levels. Now, head coach George O'Leary and offensive line coach Brent Key want Reid to become a dominant, NFL-caliber performer. The coaches want Reid to use his hands more to deliver a blow and they want him to become more physical as a whole. His footwork is already one of his strengths and now he must make a more concerted effort to be more physical.

STRENGTHS: The group has plenty of returning experience and chemistry what with Nick Pieschel, Cliff McCray, Theo Goins and Reid back as returning starters. Pieschel answered some early questions by becoming an anchor for the line at left tackle. McCray, who will be joined this season by twin brothers Jordan and Justin along the offensive line, was granted two additional years of eligibility by the NCAA, making him potentially the first seven-year player in the history of UCF's program. Goins was an All-Freshman C-USA pick after steadily improving all season and starting five games.

WEAKNESSES: The key to the offensive line's success will be the growth of Jordan Rae and Zac Norris at center. Norris, UCF's strongest player with a 510-pound bench press, went into the spring first on the depth chart, but Rae ultimately won the top spot away from him. Both players spent large chunks of the of time in the offseason in the film room learning the offense and their ability to get up to speed with the returning starters could be a major key in the chemistry of the offensive line.

COACH'S QUOTE: ``You are only as good as your last game, and as an offensive line we didn't perform up to our expectations in that (St. Pete Bowl) game. We made a vow to ourselves and to the rest of the team that that won't happen again.'' - UCF offensive line coach Brent Key


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John Denton's Knights Insider appears on UCFAthletics.com several times a week. E-mail John at jdenton@athletics.ucf.edu.