Over the next week, Zona Zealots will be previewing the Arizona Wildcats’ 2013 roster in advance of their season opener against NAU on Aug. 30 (For the full list of position previews, click here).
RSr. Eric Bender-Ramsay (Carson, Calif./Narbonne), RSr. Chris Putton (Glendale, Ariz./Cactus), RJr. Mickey Baucus (Mundelein, Ill./Carmel Catholic), RJr. Fabbians Ebbele (Chicago/Simeon), RJr. Trent Spurgeon (Owasso, Okla./Owasso), RSo. Jacob Arzouman (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic), RSo. Faitele Faafoi (Tustin, Calif./Tustin), RSo. Lene Maiava (Tafuna, American Samoa/Tafuna), RSo. Carter Wood (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral), So. Cayman Bundage (Oklahoma City/Douglas), RFr. Alec Anderson (Goodyear, Ariz./Millenium), RFr. Beau Boyster (Temecula, Calif./St. John Bosco), RFr. T.D. Gross (San Diego/Santana), RFr. Zach Hemmila (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler)
Kyle Quinn (Philadelphia Eagles – released), Shane Zink, Jowyn Ward, Addison Bachman, Trace Biskin
Jr. Steven Gurrola (Phoenix/Washington/Glendale C.C.), Fr. Jacob Alsadek (San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines), Fr. Vaughn Fontana (Tucson, Ariz./Cienega), Fr. Austin Hyatt (San Diego/St. Augustine)
Last season, the Arizona Wildcats averaged 526.2 yards per game, which was seventh-best in the country. The Wildcats gave up only 18 sacks, second-least in the Pac-12, and also averaged 227.8 rushing yards per game, good for 15th in country.
Despite these gaudy numbers, much of the credit went to quarterback Matt Scott, running back Ka’deem Carey and wide receiver Austin Hill. While those three deserved the praise they received, it was easy to forget about the people that were blocking for them.
Luckily for the Wildcats, four main contributors from the offensive line last season will be back this year: left tackle Mickey Baucus, left guard Cayman Bundage, right guard Chris Putton and right tackle Fabbians Ebbele. The four have combined for 70 career starts and will be starting alongside junior center Steven Gurrola against NAU, according to head coach Rich Rodriguez’ first depth chart.
Gurrola and Bundage will be tasked with replacing Kyle Quinn and Trace Biskin, who combined for 35 starts during their college careers. Quinn, who replaced two-time All-Pac-12 team member Colin Baxter, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles before being cut in mid-July.
Part of what made the Wildcats’ offensive line so great in 2012 was their depth, and despite losing five seniors, they might be deeper this year. Lene Maiava, Trent Spurgeon, Carter Wood, Faitele Faafoi and T.D. Gross are all capable backups, while Jacob Arzouman, Beau Boyster and Zach Hemmila have showed promise in practice.
If the offensive line produces as well as it did a year ago, it will ease the growing pains of installing a new quarterback.
Topics: 2013 Football Position Previews, Arizona Wildcats, Austin Hill, Beau Boyster, Carter Wood, Cayman Bundage, Chris Putton, Colin Baxter, Fabbians Ebbele, Faitele Faafoi, Follow, Index, Jacob Arzouman, Ka'deem Carey, Kyle Quinn, Lene Maiava, Matt Scott, Mickey Baucus, Rich Rodriguez, Steven Gurrola, T.D. Gross, Trace Biskin, Trent Spurgeon, Zach Hemmila