#6: Ranking the NC State OLines

StateFansNation is proud to present 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!

With preseason camp right here, I thought we’d take a look at a critical position, the offensive line, and rank the units during Chuck Amato’s 6-season tenure. Since injuries are common along the line, the starters listed at each position feature the player who appeared most frequently during the season. At the end, we’ll take a sneak peek at this year’s projected starting five and see where they rank against the 2000-2005 groups.

#6: Dead Last By a Mile
2004, 5-6 overall, 3-5 (7th ACC), no bowl

RT…..Derek Morris….6’6…328…So
RG…..John McKeon…6’5…302…R-Jr
C……..Jed Paulson……6’1…290…Sr
LG…..Leroy Harris….6’3…286…R-So
LT…..Chris Colmer….6’6…325…R-Sr

Average size:
304 pounds

With impressive size, experience, and decent depth, this line was expected to help the transition of first year starting quarterback Jay Davis, not to mention paving yardage for a deep backfield featuring TA McLendon, Reggie Davis, and promising freshmen Darrell Blackmon and Bobby Washington. Chris Colmer returned to the lineup, bringing much needed leadership and the hope of restoring the viciousness of the 2002 line.

However, penalties, injuries, and lack of cohesion were major factors in NC State’s first losing season since 1997.

Paulsen, then Harris, then Fowler were all lost for the season midway through the campaign, and Colmer played with lingering pain and diminished strength.

On the Clemson road trip, the team traveled with seven scholarship lineman, and started a third string true freshman (Luke Lathan) at center. During that game, two long touchdown passes were called back due to the tackle lining too far off the line of scrimmage. The team remained in the game to the last possession, further frustrating fans who easily recognized that the team possessed talent to win 10 games.

False starts, holding, and personal fouls were a routine occurrence. Get the picture? A disastrous unit that made Jay Davis look worse than he was, and which easily bears the brunt of the blame for a horrific 5-6 season.

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

General NCS Football

8 Responses to #6: Ranking the NC State OLines

  1. vtpackfan 08/10/2006 at 8:07 AM #

    10 wins? Good assesment in terms of facts to go with a little story line. How about adding OL coaches for to keep track of as well.

  2. Cardiac95 08/10/2006 at 12:10 PM #

    ^ Agreed….let’s give the coaches “credit” during the countdown.

    IMO, Gailbraith never got the credit he deserved for some excellent line play.

  3. Micky McCarthy 08/10/2006 at 1:30 PM #

    Agreed on Galbraith. When he returned to Duke for a brief stint as OC, I was hoping he would eventually come back to our staff as OL coach. As you’ll see in the subsequent entries, his ’00-’02 lines performed very capably with little depth, and smallish size.

  4. RAWFS 08/10/2006 at 1:52 PM #

    Galbraith did an excellent job of developing talent on the O-line, and we have yet to match the level of his lines yet. Still, I’d prefer Robbie Caldwell. I suppose he’s at Vandy these days.

  5. Mr O 08/10/2006 at 2:07 PM #

    I never figured out why we didn’t try to get him back after he left Duke.

  6. tvp 08/10/2006 at 4:32 PM #

    The thing is, this line probably looked the best on paper, or close to it, of any of the ones we’ve had.
    Former #1 recruit Morris
    McKeon/Fowler were at least serviceable
    Paulson was a 4 year starter at C
    Harris was a future star w/ 1 year of experience
    Colmer was seen as a sure fire NFL player

    Injuries absolutely devasted this group, and Barry proved a very poor hire.

    Another example of why predicting future results is barely removed from complete guessing.

  7. bTHEredterror 08/10/2006 at 7:51 PM #

    The false start penalties were ridiculous in ’04. I remember holding my breath on a lotta plays not in anticipation of the play, just hoping they wouldn’t have to run it for 5 more yards. THAT Clemson game hurts almost as much the memory of the last time we were down there (38-6) felt great. Dunlap’s two TD catches (neither of which count) were both fantastic.
    I agree this could’ve been a good line, and the season went to pot quick after Paulson got hurt (good point). 99-00 was not as talented, but I guess since they had a better record they rate higher.

  8. Micky McCarthy 08/10/2006 at 10:42 PM #

    I stand by the opinion that the 2004 team could have won 10 games.

    Clemson, FSU, Ohio State, GA Tech, and UNC all could have (and maybe even should have–especially for the latter game) been wins.

Leave a Reply