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August 14, 2014

Fall Camp Preview: Offensive Line

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – One of the key units for the Northern Arizona football team this season will be the offensive line. Led by new position coach Adam Stenavich, the offensive line returns three starters from a year ago and six players that have appeared in a total of 81 games.

"We're going to always pride ourselves in being the leaders of the offense," said Stenavich. "To have guys with a lot of playing experience is something that you can't teach as a coach because it's firsthand knowledge. We have a lot of guys who've done a lot of things for us. The good thing is that they can get a lot better, and they have gotten a lot better."

Senior Roy Garcia is at the center of the unit where he's looked at as the leader. He earned the team's Offensive Lineman of the Year Award in 2013, as he started all 12 games en route to all-conference second team honors.

"As a senior I have to be a leader," said Garcia. "Every day we have to come out ready to play. Improving day by day is good, but we know we can be much better."

Providing solid help on the line last year were Eric Rodriguez and Jacob Julian. Both redshirt freshmen a year, they played as if they were upperclassmen. The pair started all 12 games, as they helped pave the way for 4,212 yards by the offense.

Julian was an all-conference second team selection and was named the team's Outstanding Freshman of the Year. To add to Julian's accolades, he was also named to the College Sports Journal All-Freshman Team.

The line is happy to have junior Joe Gurski back, after he was injured in the first game of the season. Junior Leroy Guenther and sophomore Dylan LaFrenz will also provide depth for Coach Stenavich, as they have game experience. The unit also has Tyler Shank who redshirted last season and will compete for playing time.

Freshmen newcomers on the offensive line include Michael Ayache, Cole Habib, Makai Lui, Blake Owsley, Blake Porter, and Josh Sparks.