On the surface, it appears Utah has a very young offensive line with three sophomores joining seniors Chad Folk and Barry Sims as the starters.
That's deceiving, however, considering two of the sophomores, guards Darren Walker and Todd Jackson, are actually older than Folk and Sims and both have a year of starting experience under their belts.Walker and Jackson are both returned missionarieswho have also redshirted. By the time they are seniors, Walker and Jackson will be 25-year-old veterans. Last year Walker split starting duties at center with Folk, while Jackson held down the left guard position.
Folk, who missed several games with a foot injury last year, is the strongest player on the team (700-pound squat and 555-pound bench press). He'll start at center. Sims, the former Park City High and Dixie College standout, is moving from guard to right tackle this year.
The likely fifth starter is a youngster, 19-year-old Nathan Sybrowsky, who was perhaps the biggest surprise of last year's team, moving into a part-time starting role just a year out of West Jordan High. He's the top candidate for the left tackle spot, which he shared last year with departed Chad Ventriglia.
"This is the strongest group I've ever been around," said offensive line coach Don Eck. "And we feel really good about our depth. We have quality depth with eight guys inside who can play."
The backup guards are senior Erik Stuhr and junior Danny Davis, another RM from Utah County like Walker and Jackson. Brett Cook, still another Utah County RM, is the likely backup center, while a couple of giants, 6-7, 285-pound JC transfer Devin Grant and 6-8 282-pound sophomore Jay Link, are backups at tackle.