NACOGDOCHES, Texas (Press Release)– In 2015, Stephen F. Austin boasted one of the most experienced offensive line in the nation, returning five seniors who combined to play in 200 career games with 164 career starts between them.
After providing the most stability for the Lumberjacks last year, the tables have turned slightly up front for SFA. While each of the other offensive positions return a handful of starters, the offensive line has a number of question marks as the 2015 season opener draws near.
Gone from the team are four year starters David Dane, Terran Vaughn and Byron Williams, all of which exhausted their eligibility with Vaughn currently suiting up with the Oakland Raiders in the NFL preseason. But two key components from 2015 return in the form of seniorsAnthony Pullins and Terran Vaughn, who will be relied upon heavily to anchor the front and mentor the younger 'Jacks.
That's not to say the rest of the position is completely inexperienced. A handful of returners saw significant reps last season, including senior Jake Wallace, junior Shane Roberson and sophomores Devonte Jones and Hayden Scott. All four have been taking reps with both the ones and twos, building off a strong spring season.
SFA also has a number of redshirt freshmen who are entering their second year in the program, including A.J. Brown, Travis Lock and Tim Meyers, all of which were key contributors this past spring. Head coach Clint Conque also beefed up the position in the offseason with junior transfers Josh Keith and Jaxon Salinas and true freshmen Deion Bennett, Zach Mack, Matthew Mora and Cooper Williams, giving position coach Bill Best a number of young but talented options as well as some needed depth as the 2016 season linger on the horizon.
The offensive line, along with the rest of the team, took to the turf at Homer Bryce Stadium Monday morning for the first two-a-day of fall camp, getting underway at 9:15 a.m. After a week of sweltering heat and humidity, the Lumberjacks caught a break Monday as cloud cover and temperatures in the upper 70s provided some much needed relief.
With two practices scheduled for Monday, the morning practice was abbreviated to 14 periods, providing a number of opportunities for the offensive line to make their mark. The unit paved the way for a number of big plays, including breaking gaps for long touchdown runs by Joshawa West and Josh McGowen, The offensive line also helped provide blocking for a number of big pass plays, seeming more comfortable in its position as practice drew on.
The Lumberjack offensive line and the rest of the team will try and get back on the practice field this afternoon as practice eight of SFA's fall camp scheduled for 3:45 p.m. The weather forecast doesn't look incredibly favorable, but the 'Jacks will give it a go as long as conditions hold out. Stay tuned to the SFA Football Twitter account (@SFA_Football) for updates on any delays or alterations to practice throughout the week as thunderstorms remain in the forecast for the remainder of the week.
2016 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN FALL CAMP SCHEDULE