#2: 2003 (Ranking the OLines)

StateFansNation is proud to present the second in a special series focused on NC State offensive lines in the Chuck Amato era. One of our readers, “Mickey McCarthy” (gotta love that), has done some excellent work that we are going to share over the next few days. Thanks so much, Mickey!

#6: 2004
#5: 2005
#4: 2000
#3: 2001

#2: 2003, 8-5 overall, 4-4 (3-way tie 4th) ACC
Tangerine Bowl Champions

RT…Sean Locklear…..6’4…294…R-Sr
RG…Ricky Fowler……6’2…286…R-Jr
C……Jed Paulsen…….6’1…290…Jr
LG…Leroy Harris…..6’3…286…R-Fr
LT…John McKeon….6’5…302…R-So

Average size:
292 pounds

Despite losing Kooistra and Riggs to graduation, the offensive line returned its entire right side, and was considered a position of strength heading into Philip Rivers senior season. Instead, injuries and the resulting lack of depth forced some reshuffling during preseason camp.

All-America candidate Chris Colmer suffered a rare nerve injury during the offseason that kept him sidelined for the entire 2003 campaign. Redshirt sophomore John McKeon stepped in at left tackle and did a fine job under the circumstances. Derek Morris remained sidelined through six games due to eligibility concerns, so Sean Locklear slid to right tackle and converted defensive lineman Ricky Fowler moved to right guard. Redshirt freshman Leroy Harris emerged as a strong contributor at left guard, earning freshman All-America honors.

In spite of the preseason adversity, this unit helped Philip Rivers to the most prolific passing season in ACC history, and the second highest career yardage total in NCAA annals.

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General NCS Football

4 Responses to #2: 2003 (Ranking the OLines)

  1. primacyone 08/21/2006 at 11:23 AM #

    Did this line make Philip Rivers better, or did Philip Rivers make this line better?

    I say that in reference to current expextations of opposing defensenses potential #1 option to stack the line of scrimmage this coming year.

    This was a very good OL. Good for long yardage plays and short yardage third down conversions. This group came together as a unit in a hurry and very nicely. They new how to get low and lock up a defender and move him.

    This offesnse could seeminly score at will, but could not overcome the weeknesses on defense. The loses were extremly close games.

    As we go through this ranking excerise it is showing how important the performance of the OL is in relation to Wins and Loses. Historically it appears it is much better to have a strong offensevive line than a strong defensivie line. Having both is nice, as we will see next, and a necessity if you are going to win championships.

  2. JimValvano 08/21/2006 at 7:26 PM #

    This is off topic, but only slightly as it does pertain to football. Furthermore I don’t mean to start rumors or ruin the chances of my theory happening. Next I would like to say…it’s just a theory and I’m even willing to say that it is very much not likely to happen. With all that said, here goes…
    I am wondering if Chuck Amato is a lame duck. Maybe Fowler actually has a bit of a plan. I know our football team’s outlook for success is being estimated and prognosticated by many “experts” as being highly unlikely. Unfortunately…I agree. Even more unfortunately…I’m excited about it. Why? Well, I think that there are two criteria Amato must accomplish in order to keep his job. 1. Beat the Tarholes 2. Make a bowl game
    If he fails in either of these categories…he is fired. Unless he loses to the Tarholes, but we go 10-3. Now, here is where my theory gets interesting and my excitement gets justified. If Amato gets fired (yeah right…like Fowler knows how to fire anybody), then there is a coach that will be available who happens to be an alumni. This coach is highly successful and highly recognizable. Now this may just be wishful thinking, but…if the stars, sun, moon, and planets all align themselves just right…maybe we’ll go from Chuck the Chesticles to… … … Cowher the Chin! What?!? Have I lost my mind? Probably. But, think about it like this…Cowher’s contract negotiations have broken off with the Steelers and this is the last year of his contract, Jerome Bettis says that Cowher is a changed man with his recent Super Bowl victory and he expects him to get out of the NFL, Cowher’s wife and kids live in a house in…Raleigh, he would be a football coach without a contract, and he could finish his career where it started…at NCSU. This all may be absolute craziness, but I must say…the thought has been on my mind since I heard Cowher was most likely done with the Steelers after this year. I certainly don’t want to turn this into a Rick Barnes situation and ruin our chances, but I am hopeful that there is an outside possibility of this happening. Has anyone else had a thought like this cross their mind? Or am I alone on this theory?

  3. primacyone 08/21/2006 at 9:54 PM #

    You been drinking again Jimmy V?????

    First-Lee Fowler have a plan to get rid of a coach – come on man.

    Second – Chuck Amato is no where even close to not being the head coach of NC State Football. Hell, he’s off to the fourth best start in ACC history. Just think if he had three seniors on the defensive line coming back this year.

    Third – Look around. Chuck is no lame duck.

    Fourth – Cowher may be coahing some NC State Football, but he’ll be doing it for free and for the fun of it once or twice a year. Maybe throw in a pregame speech or something.

    If Cowher does retire, his big chin will be booming through your TV every Sunday as a comentator and he’ll be hanging out with his Kid the rest of the week. That’s what the Bus is talking about.

    Lay off that hard stuff man. It’s not good for any of us.


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