Offensive line looks to

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 16, 2000

be a strength for Troy State

From Special Reports

Four starters return for Troy State on the offensive line. All four are seniors in center Blake Carruthers (Norman Park, Ga.), left guard Brent McAliley (Niceville, Fla.), right guard Brent Harrison (Enterprise, Ala.) and right tackle Charles Thomas (Forest Park, Ga.).

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Left tackle Michael "Mookie" Moore (Fayette, Ala.) finished his eligibility and looks to be headed to the NFL. Harrison has been working at tight end this spring, which, if he sees action there this fall, will be his third position (guard and center) played for the Trojans.

"The seniors leadership has been good," said offensive line coach Jim Dye. "They have taken it upon themselves to get better and not be satisfied."

Spring practice is a battlefield for the open spot at tackle. Sophomores Lee Walls (Valley, Ala.) and Stan Curington (Ashburn, Ga.) are vying to replace Moore, with Curington having the upper hand at this time. Sophomore Robin Lee (Vancleave, Miss.) is the top reserve at guard thus far.

"Curington has earned it to this point," added Dye. "It will be his job to lose in the fall."

Carruthers and sophomore Rodney Jordan (Goshen, Ala.) made a solid combination at center in 1999. Jordan is a very versatile performer who could see playing time at any position along the offensive front. Sophomore Obed Ellis (Wetumpka, Ala.) provides the squad depth in the middle.

McAliley had an outstanding junior campaign also serving as the squad’s long snapper. Sophomores Oliver McCord (Trenton, Ga.) and Jeffrey Smith (Clarkston, Ga.) are battling for the two spot. Smith moved over from the defensive line this spring.

Thomas is the best athlete on the offensive line. He was second on the team in plays to Moore last season. Sophomore Johnny Maddox (Clarksdale, Miss.) is listed behind Thomas.

Four players were signed in February that will arrive for fall camp in August. They include Donnie Bostian (6-6, 305, Warner Robbins, Ga.), Branden Hall (6-4, 300, Auburn, Ala.), Lee Milliner (6-2, 270, Enterprise, Ala.) and Henry Tellis (6-5, 310, Montgomery, Ala.)

"We have a chance to be as good as we were last year," said Head Coach Larry Blakeney. "We aren’t as deep, but we signed several prospects who will have a chance to come in and help us right away."