Football Guide: Positional grades for offensive linemen
Projected starters: Mickey Baucus, redshirt senior (left tackle), Cayman Bundage, junior (left guard), Steven Gurrola, senior (center), Jacob Alsadek, redshirt senior (right guard), Fabbians Ebbele, redshirt senior (right tackle)
Backups: T.D. Gross (redshirt sophomore), Lene Maiava (redshirt junior), Carter Wood (redshirt junior), Layth Friekh (true freshman), Zach Hemmila (redshirt sophomore), Jacob Arzouman (redshirt junior), Christian Boettcher (true freshman), Gerhard de Beer (redshirt freshman), Faitele Faafoi (redshirt junior), Kaige Lawrence (redshirt junior), Jordan Poland (true freshman), Freddie Tagaloa (junior), Levi Walton (true freshman)
Departures: Alec Anderson (no longer with program), Beau Boyster (no longer with program), Austin Hyatt (no longer with program), Chris Putton (graduation), Trent Spurgeon (no longer with program)
Returning start leaders:
Mickey Baucus: 13 starts
Cayman Bundage: 13 starts
Steven Gurrola: 13 starts
Fabbians Ebbele: 12 starts
Just last year, continuity issues plagued the unit, and there were questions after losing two veterans in Kyle Quinn and Trace Biskin.
There might be inexperienced and new starters at both quarterback and running back this season but the same can’t be said about the offensive line. Four out of five starters from last year’s offensive line are back, three of which are entering their senior seasons.
Leading the way along the line are Mickey Baucus (38 career starts) and Fabbians Ebbele (37 career starts). By comparison, their combined 75 starts are more than all of ASU’s five projected starting offensive linemen.
Having such an experienced line will drastically help redshirt freshman starting quarterback Anu Solomon get acclimated to the college game.
It doesn’t hurt either having 80 percent of the line back from last year’s team that averaged 264.9 rushing yards per game.
Throughout fall camp, Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez has maintained faith in his projected starters but expressed concern about his depth. If someone like Baucus was to get injured, reserves like T.D. Gross or Lene Maiava would be forced into action.
Gross and Maiava aren’t horrible options but the drop-off from starters to reserves is significant and could lead to problems.
As long as the offensive line stays healthy, Arizona will have a successful year on the offensive side of the ball.
Follow Roberto Payne @HouseofPayne555