Jr. LG Cole Popovich (6-2, 295) sat out 2003 as a grayshirt. He entered spring 2004 as a true freshman and made an immediate impact. He started the first two games in 2004 until he was lost for the season due to injury. He redshirted and returned to the starting lineup in 2005 as a redshirt freshman and was named a Freshman All-American.
Popovich has had trouble staying healthy in his career. Jr. Pierce Masse (6-4, 300) filled in for him last season mid-game against Washington after an injury. Jr. Adam McDowell (6-4, 285) started in his place the following week against Colorado State. McDowell has moved to the right side and Masse enters fall camp behind Popovich.
Popovich is arguably one of the best linemen of the Pat Hill era. He has great feet and is extremely powerful. If he can stay healthy for the entire season, he should garner All-WAC honors.
McDowell started his Bulldog career at defensive end. He did not move to offensive until spring of 2006. He was listed second on the depth chart at right tackle at the start of last season. However, he made his first start at guard and started the last four games of last season at right guard.
McDowell solidified his spot at right guard in the starting lineup in spring but RFr. Andrew Jackson (6-6, 290) is breathing down his neck. Like McDowell, Jackson started his career at defensive line but moved to guard in the spring of this year. Jackson has gained nearly 50lbs since last season. His future could be at tackle, yet he had a great spring at right guard. He enters fall camp a strong candidate to earn significant playing time or possibly start.
Masse is a solid left guard. He could start for many teams in the WAC. Unfortunately, he backs up the best left guard in the conference. Nonetheless, if Popovich is stricken by injury once again, Masse will fill in smoothly.
The ‘Dogs have enough depth at guard; the third string could be effective if needed. RFr. LG Charley Robbins (6-2, 290) was an all-state performer in high school and Coach Hill has compared him to Popovich. Robbins has great footwork and looked good in spring. Walk on RFr. Nick Wright (6-3, 280) can play center and guard. He has been working out at right guard this summer.
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