FAU Football Spring Preview: Offensive Line
DeAndre Williams (12 starts) - RS Senior
Mustafa Johnson (11 starts) - Senior
Stern Vile - Senior
Johnathan Ragoo - RS Junior
Robert Nasiff - RS Sophomore
Mike Marsaille - RS Sophomore
Vinny Davino - RS Sophomore
Mohammad Farah - RS Sophomore
Arthur Crouse - RS Freshman
Dillon DeBoer - RS Freshman
TJ Dupuis - Senior
Eric Minemayer - RS Junior
Christopher Chappell - RS Senior
Braden Lyons - Junior
On the Way:
Overview: If there is one position that needs to make monumental strides during spring camp, it's the offensive line. Florida Atlantic returns just two starters from last year's unit and only a handful of players with game experience. Redshirt senior DeAndre Williams started every contest last season at right tackle while fellow senior Mustafa Johnson (pictured above) was a regular at center. However, outside of those two there is a sizable drop off of linemen who have actually taken the field. Senior Stern Vile was recruited last year out of junior college, but saw limited action as a backup. He could have the inside track to take over the left tackle position along with Minnesota transfer Johnathan Ragoo. A redshirt junior, Ragoo is FAU's biggest lineman, but like Vile, he was at the bottom of the depth chart in 2012. Redshirt sophomores Mike Marsaille and Robert Nasiff appear to be viable options at guard, as both players are athletic enough to block in the Owl's spread offense. Braden Lyons signed with FAU in December out of junior college and should compete for immediate playing time at either guard or tackle. Arthur Crouse and Dillon DeBoer where recruited by Carl Pelini's staff last year and have the looks to be future tackles, but the two need to add weight in the offseason. The Owls signed four high school prospects in the 2013 recruiting class that will join the team in the summer.
Player on the Spot: - Johnathan Ragoo - A former three-star recruit, Ragoo enrolled at FAU after a year long stint at Minnesota. At six-foot-seven 342 pounds, he is one of the largest players in program history, and has the potential to be a force along the line. However, Ragoo has yet to start a game and has made a minimal impact. FAU needs linemen to step up, and Ragoo will have an opportunity this spring.
Remember the Name: - Mike Marsaille - With three positions up for grabs, Marsaille is in place to secure one of those roles. Marsaille can play either guard or tackle and has plenty of upside with his six-foot-five 300 pound frame.
Key Stat: - 26 - FAU allowed 26 sacks last year, which was the program's lowest total in three seasons. The Owls will be tasked with blocking stronger defensive fronts next season, as Conference-USA teams averaged nearly six more sacks than Sun Belt schools last year.
Forecast: Johnson and Williams should become the seasoned veterans of the line, as they both have started games. Offensive line coach Luke Meadows will need to use these spring practices as a trial and error period to figure out what positions each lineman can play. Look for Marsaille and Lyons to take snaps at guard while Vile and Ragoo split time at tackle. FAU should exit practices with a better idea of what they have, but the development of the line will be essential to next season's success.
Up Next: Defensive Tackles