The Florida Gators have a new offensive line this season filled with freshmen.
It should be noted, only one of the five starters are still with the Gators this season. Martez Ivey, Jawaan Taylor, Tyler Jordan, and Fred Johnson all moved onto the NFL, leaving senior Nick Buchanan to lead the young offensive line into the 2019 football season.
The New Blood on the Line
Out of the 15 offensive linemen on the 2019 roster, nine are freshmen, listed below.
- Da’Quan Thomas
- Griffen McDowell
- Riley Simonds
- Kingsley Eguakun
- Christopher Bleich
- Michael Tarquin
- Will Harrod
- Richard Gouraige
- Ethan White
Meaning, if there’s a healthy rotation on the field, fans will get to see everyone sometime this season.
Offensive line coach John Hevesy acknowledges the young blood on the field.
Heading Into 2019
Last season the Gators ranked 20th in the nation and third among SEC teams with last year’s group allowing just 18 sacks in 13 games.
Hevesy wants the unit to keep their poise this season.
In addition to Buchanan and the freshmen, redshirt juniors Brett Heggie, Stone Forsythe, and Jean Delance are projected to start on the offensive line this season.
However, with Heggie struggling to stay healthy for an entire season and Delance unable to play most of last season because of transfer rules, there’s a concern for the starters, but perhaps the freshmen can help with that.
What to Expect?
With the season opener against the Miami Hurricanes this weekend, Hevesy says it’s a chess match every game.
Throughout fall camp, there were plenty of plays, but Hevesy cuts them down by the start of the season.
In the end, Mullen and Hevesy are going to have their hands full with this new offensive line. Quarterback Feleipe Franks will depend on teammates to have a clean pocket in order to make connections to the running backs and wide receivers on the team.
Make sure to catch the Gator season opener against the Hurricanes on Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.