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Plainstalk

Starting left tackle, Prince or James??

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47 minutes ago, WarDamnEagleWDE said:

Hearing one to RT and one to LT. Smith back inside. 

Sounds good to me. With Braden and James on the right side of the line that's a couple of bull dozers opening up holes. Hopefully James has progressed in his pass protection. 

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So long as Tega is as good or better than James at LT, I'm good with him there. That allows us to get James in a more natural RT position and move Braden back inside where everyone thinks he will play at the next level.

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If it is because Tega has improved to the point he is equal to or better that James at LT it is ideal. If equal we lose nothing at LT and he will get better as year goes. James will be a better RT then a LT and Braden will be a dominant RG. If Tega has actually gotten better than James at LT it is even better. Tega's length just makes him a more natural LT than James.

Hopefully we will know more after the scrimmage tomorrow.

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My preference would be Tega at RT and James at LT. Having two new guys on the left side not ideal but we shall see. I don't doubt Tega's talent; just lack of experience overall is what concerns me. Either way, we're not likely going to get any real answers regarding whoever the new OL starters are until we play Clemson. Would really like to see Smith at G for sure.

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1 hour ago, AlaskanFAN said:

I would be ok with Tega, Horton, Golson, Smith, James. 

I think most of us are in the same boat. Tega is a natural for LT.  When he is ready (whether it's right now, later this season, or next year) he is going to be a beast LT!!!  James can play LT but he would be better at RT assuming the previous statement.  Smith can be an All-American at RG!  This may be Horton's first year to start, but he was ready last year, he just had 2 good experienced Gs in front of him. 

The above lineup COULD be one of the best OLs we've had in a long time!

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14 minutes ago, AUpreacherman22 said:

The above lineup COULD be one of the best OLs we've had in a long time!

I'm trying to temper my optimism, but the consensus seems to be that we are going to end up with a solid OL. 

But, I'm trying really hard not to get too excited about this team. 

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@Barnacle, they could be!  They haven't proven anything yet. You are wise to temper expectations.  I'm not getting my hopes too high until after the Clemson game. If we work them up and down the field, then I will become as giddy as a school girl. Until then, I am just cautiously optimistic.  

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9 minutes ago, AUpreacherman22 said:

@Barnacle, they could be!  They haven't proven anything yet. You are wise to temper expectations.  I'm not getting my hopes too high until after the Clemson game. If we work them up and down the field, then I will become as giddy as a school girl. Until then, I am just cautiously optimistic.  

My thoughts exactly!

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IMO, Tega is the best option if he's ready, and it seems the coaches think he is.

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Take this for what it is worth but, Bryan Matthews was on 'Talking Ball' this a.m. and his guess at starting OL (L->R): Tega, Golson, Dunn, Smith, James.  His second guess was Golson at C & Horton at LG

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40 minutes ago, Rednilla said:

IMO, Tega is the best option if he's ready, and it seems the coaches think he is.

If so, that's really impressive. Did he play O-line in H.S.? Did he even play football for all of high school?

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1 minute ago, Barnacle said:

If so, that's really impressive. Did he play O-line in H.S.? Did he even play football for all of high school?

He played one year of HS football at Edgewood Academy in Wetumpka/Elmore. He originally started at DE when he came to Auburn but was moved to OL. He was always a project, but I think it's really impressive that he's even in this conversation right now. 

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Just now, boomstick said:

He played one year of HS football at Edgewood Academy in Wetumpka/Elmore. He originally started at DE when he came to Auburn but was moved to OL. He was always a project, but I think it's really impressive that he's even in this conversation right now. 

Yeah, that's what I thought. Definitely impressive. Playing offensive line isn't just something you pick-up, as he apparently has. 

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Just now, Barnacle said:

If so, that's really impressive. Did he play O-line in H.S.? Did he even play football for all of high school?

No. He played defensive line in high school, and he only played a year of that. That, however, is the reason he hasn't been in the conversation to play until this, his redshirt sophomore season: he had to learn to block. I saw mention that he only moved to the O-line last year, but I seem to remember him moving over during his redshirt season, which would mean he's had nearly two years to learn, and with his natural athletic abilities I think he'll pick it up fine.

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Just now, Rednilla said:

No. He played defensive line in high school, and he only played a year of that. That, however, is the reason he hasn't been in the conversation to play until this, his redshirt sophomore season: he had to learn to block. I saw mention that he only moved to the O-line last year, but I seem to remember him moving over during his redshirt season, which would mean he's had nearly two years to learn, and with his natural athletic abilities I think he'll pick it up fine.

Yeah, I'm just incredibly impressed that he has picked it up that fast. 

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Just now, Barnacle said:

Yeah, I'm just incredibly impressed that he has picked it up that fast. 

Again, I think that's because of his natural ability. Of course he won't be the most polished offensive lineman we have (particularly not with a potential All-American senior in Braden Smith), but I don't believe that will keep him from being a productive option.

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1 minute ago, Rednilla said:

Again, I think that's because of his natural ability. Of course he won't be the most polished offensive lineman we have (particularly not with a potential All-American senior in Braden Smith), but I don't believe that will keep him from being a productive option.

I think that also suggests that he hasn't even come close to his upside. If he can start playing early in the season, it will be really fun to watch him progress game-to-game. 

Edited by Barnacle

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Just now, Barnacle said:

I think that also suggests that he hasn't even come close to his upside. If he can start playing early in the season, it will be really fun to watch him progress game-to-game. 

Agreed.

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31 minutes ago, lkeel75 said:

Take this for what it is worth but, Bryan Matthews was on 'Talking Ball' this a.m. and his guess at starting OL (L->R): Tega, Golson, Dunn, Smith, James.  His second guess was Golson at C & Horton at LG

I sure hate to give up Horton's 330 lbs for Dunn's 290 lb.

Edited by 80Tiger
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16 minutes ago, 80Tiger said:

I sure hate to give up Horton's 330 lbs for Dunn's 290 lb.

I agree but if Hand wants best 5 out there &  Horton doesn't make the cut then so be it.

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Smith/James are natural guards. Yes they can play tackle for us and because of our needs have done just that. But they will be guards at the next level imo. Tega/Ashley are natural tackles. It sounds like Tega is almost ready but Ashley has been slowed from getting dinged up. I think when both are ready the ideal OL would be:

LT- Tega, LG- James, OC- Golson, RG- Smith, RT- Ashley

But until Tega and/or Ashley ARE ready, James and Smith will have to man the tackle spots. I'll go out on a limb and say Tega will be ready and James will move over to RT. So the opening day OL would be:

LT- Tega, LG- Horton, OC- Golson, RG- Smith, RT- James

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