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Looking Ahead: O-Line

Part 1: Quarterbacks
Part 2: Running Backs
Part 3: Wide Receivers & Tight Ends
Today: O-Line

#79 Steve Rissler (Graduation)

Back in '07
#68 Jim Barrie
#78 Simon Codrington
#76 Marcus Gilbert
#69 Eddie Haupt
#65 Brad Hiers
#71 Corey Hobbs
#74 Maurice Hurt
#57 Carl Johnson
#73 Carlton Medder
#67 Drew Miller
#64 Kyle Newell
#63 Jim Tartt
#75 Phil Trautwein
#77 Jason Watkins
#70 Ronnie Wilson

Incoming (As of Right Now)
James Wilson / St. Augustine (Nease)
Maurkice "LaShawn" Pouncey / Lakeland (Lakeland Senior)
Michael "James" Pouncey / Lakeland (Lakeland Senior)

What We're Losing
I will start by saying that I'm not the biggest evaluator of talent out of the offensive line position - the reasons being 1) I've never come close to playing the position and 2) I tend to judge a lineman's effectiveness on the amount of time the quarterback has and the size of holes the running back has and it ends there.  That being said, I'll try to report as much as possible in this report.

Right now the only lineman the Gators will be losing on the offensive side of the ball is Steve Rissler, 2006's starting center.  Rissler was a one-year starter who made his first starts this last season, following several years of being the backup behind Mike Degory.

Rissler started in all 14 games for the Gators this season, so obviously his game experience will be a loss for the Gators offensive line.  He had also been around the program for quite some time, so his leadership skills and anything else associated with being around these guys for the previous years will be lost.

Who Will Make an Impact in '07
With Rissler being the only loss on the line next season, 4 out of the 5 starters will be back - one year more experienced and ready to defend the title.  This group includes Phil Trautwein, Carlton Medder, Drew Miller and Jim Tartt.

After the offensive line struggled to pick up the new system in 2005 and several of them leaving following that season, this line picked up the slack, only allowing 24 sacks and doing very well to provide what was needed for the quick-paced offense to succeed.  As long as we do not see a drastic change in the way Meyer runs his offense next season, I wouldn't expect to see any kind of dropoff in their level of play.

In terms of who will fill the void left by Rissler, the Gators have two others listed as centers on the position chart - Eddie Haupt and Jim Barrie, who will both be sophomores next season.  Whether either of those guys will take over the position is unknown at this point, though.  Time (and spring practice) will tell.

Who We're Bringing In
The recruiting class picked up a big commitment a few weeks ago from G James Wilson, who de-committed from USC to play his college ball in Gainesville. has Wilson listed as #2 at his position, and has him rated a 5-star recruit.

The Pouncey Twins have become well-known in Gainesville because of their early commitments to play for the Gators.  They are out of Lakeland Senior High, one of the premier high school programs in the state, and have spent the last few years blocking for Chris Rainey, a stud-RB who will also be attending UF.

Stay tuned.  Up next: The Defensive Line