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Bennett looks to fill big shoes at center (notebook)

Published 6:53pm Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It isn’t unusual for Troy to shuffle its offensive lineman around, last season the team had success moving Kyle Wilborn from guard to center. The Trojans are once again looking to fill some voids in 2013 and Dalton Bennett is the man for the job.

With the loss of Wilborn, Troy is turning to Bennett and senior Evan McKissack play possibly the most important position in the Trojans fact-paced offence.

“I was a little hesitant at first when the coaches came up to me and asked if I would move to center. I’ve never touched the football before, I was like, I have to snap it and block? It’s worked out OK though, I’m getting used to it,” Bennett said.

Wilborn started all but one game last year at center. Bennett says replacing him is going to be tough.

“I knew I would have to work hard to fill his shoes,” Bennett said. “He’s a great guy and a great player. It’s an honor to be asked to play that position with all the greats that Troy has had there.”

Of the seven linemen that made starts for the Trojans last season, just two are returning (Jimmie Arnold and Terrence Jones).

Offensive line coach Jim Dye says he has been pleased with the progress he’s seen so far.

“Dalton is doing really well. The process of him moving into a starting role is a little different for him. I like his attitude, work ethic and leadership,” Dye said.

Dye says he’s looking for two quality players at each line position and praised all of them for their intensity so far in fall camp.

Arnold, Jones, Bennett, McKissack, Tyler Lassiter, Antonio Garcia and Tommy Stephens are the front runner to see the majority of the playing time on the line.

LINEBAKCER SAM LEBBIE TO MISS 4-6 WEEKS

Standout freshman linebacker Sam Lebbie suffered a knee injury on Tuesday and will likely miss 4-6 weeks according to Troy head coach Larry Blakeney.

Lebbie has been impressing coaches all fall and was penciled in as a backup at the Mike linebacker position behind Mark Wilson.

The No. 6 middle linebacker prospect out of high school, Lebbie originally signed with West Virginia before landing with the Trojans.

His best case recovery timeline puts him returning in time for Troy’s game against Savannah State on Sept. 7.

BRANDON SILVERS IN THE RUNNING FOR NO. 3 QB SPOT

Freshman quarterback Brandon Silvers took snaps with the third team offence on Wednesday replacing junior Dallas Tidwell at the position. It is unclear if the move is permanent.

Silvers greyshirted last season after throwing for more than 3,800 yards and 32 touchdowns in two seasons as the starting quarterback for Gulf Shores High School. ESPN rated him the 27th best quarterback in the nation saying “this guy may be the most under the radar quarterback prospect in this class.”

Silvers is the nephew of Carey Christensen who played on Troy’s 1984 national championship team.

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