After news broke that UMass would be without the services of offensive linemen Jamie Casselberry and Michael Boland, many fans began to wonder whether the Minutemen were back to square one in the trenches.
Of course, losing experience hurts when dealing with the big guys up front, but the Minutemen have dealt with the situation pretty effectively in the offseason. Including walk-ons, deferred commitments, JUCO transfers and scholarship freshmen, UMass is bringing on at least 13 athletes that can lace them up and provide depth.
Below are the new faces that we’ve reported on, so far. There is always the (likely) possibility that we’ve missed a walk-on or two.
- Garrett FitzGerald (walk-on)
- Joe Tyo (walk-on)
- Costa Toubekis (walk-on)
- Will Giggi (walk-on)
- Aaron Oberst (walk-on)
- Josh Bruns (JUCO)
- Terrel Correia (2013 signee)
- Tyshon Henderson (2013 signee)
- Fabian Hoeller (2013 signee)
- Cameron Mock (2012 signee)
- Rich Queen (2013 signee)
- Jordan Page (2013 signee)
- Sam Zeff (2013 signee – early enrollee)
I’ve also been told that the Minutemen plan to use at least one of their two remaining scholarships on a graduate student transfer, which could potentially provide a huge boost. We likely won’t hear any names until early summer – we broke the news about Hafis Williams and Deion Walker in late May.
So, while the loss of Casselberry (my favorite lineman) and Boland will definitely hurt, there is little doubt that UMass will enter the 2013 season with more depth than it did in 2012 when it was forced to start freshmen and convert guys like Al Leneus to offensive line mid-season.
Depth doesn’t necessarily mean success, but UMass has added nearly 3,900 pounds of beef to the 2013 squad, which should ease some concerns about the issues up front.
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