Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer
Saturday, October 4, 2014 2:29pm
USF's announcement Friday that former St. Petersburg Catholic four-star OT Reilly Gibbons will join the program in January sparked a little bye-week rumination.
Should Gibbons be cleared to play for the Bulls in 2015, what would their offensive line look like? Three of the five current starters are seniors, with LG Thor Jozwiak and RT Brynjar Gudmundsson the juniors. Barring any defections, dismissals or devastating knee injuries, the '15 possibilities are tantalizing.
Here's our projected starting five:
LT Reilly Gibbons
This is presuming Gibbons, who attended summer courses at Stanford but wasn't enrolled for the fall semester, is cleared by the NCAA to play. Ranked the nation's 15th-best offensive tackle by ESPN.com coming out of high school, Gibbons possesses the size (6-foot-6, 292 pounds) and smarts to step into a starting job immediately.
LG Thor Jozwiak
The Bulls' best offensive lineman right now. The only knock on Jozwiak is that he has been prone to get dinged up, though he has shown nary an effect from the procedure to mend the irregular heartbeat that sidelined him all of 2013. If Jozwiak can remain healthy, he could become the second member of his family (his dad, Brian, was the first) to earn NFL employment.
C Michael Smith
A three-star guard at Miami Central, Smith (6-3, 319) seems poised for a redshirt season, and might -- might -- be a bona fide candidate to replace senior Austin Reiter in '15. Currently, redshirt freshman Cameron Ruff is listed as Reiter's backup, but the former Jesuit High standout hasn't played the last three games. Tough position to call; we're not sure what the coaches have in mind for the future at center.
RG Brynjar Gudmundsson
A guard last season, Gudmundsson slid to right tackle in the preseason and has started all five games at that spot. With a little more depth next fall, we wouldn't be shocked if Gudmundsson (6-4, 305) moved back inside, fortifying the protection for USF's inside run game.
RT Zach Hudson
If this rangy former Sickles High star (and onetime Missouri commitment) fully recovers from surgery to mend a torn right labrum, he could emerge as a very viable option at right tackle. The grandson of Hillsborough County prep coaching icon Billy Turner, Hudson spent the previous two seasons as lead blocker for nationally coveted TB Ray Ray McCloud.
Bear in mind, this is merely one of several potential starting-five scenarios for the Bulls. Presumably, guys such as Ruff, guards Jeremi Hall, Dominique Threatt and Michael Galati; and tackles Kofi Amichia, "Big Mak" Djulbegovic and Clavion Nelson (not to mention a few '15 signees) will have something to say about the depth chart. Feel free to offer your own projection (as if the most rabid among you need an invite).