Spring Football Report - Offensive Line
April 20, 2011
By Jeff Honza
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Southeast Missouri's offensive line is a work in progress after losing four starters from last season.
The Redhawks rock solid line up front paved the way for an offense which led the Ohio Valley Conference in rushing, third and fourth down conversions and fewest sacks allowed.
More importantly, Southeast became only the second team in league history to have four First-Team All-OVC offensive line selections.
However, that was last year.
"Last year is done," said offensive line coach Brian Boerboom. "I think we have a lot of guys who are willing to step up right now. We did a decent job last year, but I think we can be even better."
Evan Conrad is Southeast's lone returning starter on the offensive line this season. Conrad started all 12 games at left tackle and earned First-Team All-OVC honors as a sophomore last year. He has made 21-consecutive starts between the tackle spots.
"It starts with Evan," commented Boerboom. "He's a returning all-conference guy, who has gotten better and is being a leader."
McCauley and Duggins each played in 11 games last season, while Maldonado missed the entire 2010 campaign with an injury. Watson saw action in eight contests.
Niggemann and Schmid transferred mid-year. Niggemann is from Glendale Community College, the same junior college that produced former Redhawks Harris and J.J. Sanchez. Schmid comes to Southeast from Western Michigan where he was a walk-on.
"These guys are doing a good job," said Boerboom. "They are understanding pad level and where they are supposed to go. They all have things to work on, but they each have different tools that can help us."
Offensively, the Redhawks have been changing some things up this spring under the direction of newly appointed offensive coordinator Tim McGuire.
Boerboom says his linemen are getting used to the new schemes.
"We have more plays than before, especially up front," said Boerboom. "They have done a good job of learning. We have been doing a lot more pulling and our guys like that."
Southeast shortened its practice week to two days due to the upcoming Easter holiday. The Redhawks will practice three more times next week, before wrapping things up with their annual spring game on Apr. 30.