Troy enters season with experience on the offensive line

Published 8:23 am Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Troy’s offensive line brings a good mix of experience and talent to the Trojans.

“We are going as far as they can take us,” said Trojans head coach Neal Brown. “They played better down the stretch last year, and that is why we played better offensively down the stretch.”

Deontae Crumitie likely will move to center after primarily being a right guard during his freshman season.

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“Center is a question mark,” Brown said. “Deontae Crumitie is playing in there, and it’s new position for him and he is learning. I think he is getting better. He is definitely athletic enough to play the position.”

Senior left tackle Antonio Garcia is the linchpin on the offensive line. The senior played in 12 games a year ago and will be looked at as one of the leaders on the line. Xavier Fields, who played in all 12 games, and Tyler Lassiter who started in eight games will join Garcia on the line.

Also in line for playing time are freshmen J.L Gaston, Tristan Carter and Dylan Bradshaw.

Troy finished the second and final scrimmage on Saturday, and Brown said he saw progress on the line.

“They played better today (Saturday) then they did last week,” Brown said. “We had too many penalties, but I thought they protected the passer and did a good job at protecting the passer.”

Day in and day out the offensive line has been battling a front four on defense that is much improved.

“That is a good thing,” said Troy offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield. “It’s good for them. They get to go up against some really good guys. It’s hard to block those guys on a regular bases. I think when it’s all said and done in a couple of weeks our line is going to get rolling and I think by the end of the year we will be talking about them.”

The Trojans will kick off the 2016 season at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, at Veterans Memorial Stadium.