The offensive line is a position that is many casual fans tend to overlook. While quarterback, running backs and wide receiver are the “sexy” positions to watch, the big boys up front are the ones that make the big plays possible.
Protecting the quarterback is top priority for UCF entering 2012, as the lack of protection last year led to a disappointing 5-7 season. With redshirt sophomore Blake Bortles now at the helm of the offense, providing the big armed pocket passer with sufficient time to let plays develop will either make or break the season.
Here are a few linemen of note:
Redshirt sophomore Torrian Wilson (6-4, 306) will be starting at left tackle when the season opens. “Block”, as his UCF teammates call him, will look to hold down the blind side and keep defenders from taking shots at the quarterback. Wilson saw playing time in 11 games last season while making four starts at the position, earning a spot on the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
Theo Goins (6-4, 317) is set to hold down the left guard position. Entering his senior season, Goins offers the most experience to the offensive line group. Appearing in 30 games during his UCF career, Goins has been added to the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman) watch list. While he will most likely spend the season playing guard, Goins has the ability to play tackle too if needed.
Center Jordan Rae (6-2, 275) has been a fixture on the UCF o-line since 2010. With 25 consecutive starts at the position, Rae will be looked upon to anchor the line. Entering 2012 with his name on the Rimington Trophy watch list (top center), the expectations are set for him.