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Red Shirt Sophomore Zach Hueter in Play for Starting Right Tackle with the Spartans


The battle for the Spartans RT position in 2010 is shaping up to be an epic battle.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

The battle for the Spartans RT position in 2010 is shaping up to be an epic battle. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

Coming into last spring the biggest weakness the Spartans had to fill was at right tackle. D.J. Young had anchored the spot in 2009. With the departure of Rocco Cironi at the all important left tackle position, he will slide over and secure the flank of QB Kirk Cousins.


With Young’s move, the race was on for who would take his right tackle spot. Throughout the spring, J’Michael Deane and Jared McGaha both battled admirably for that spot. When spring was over there was little, if any, separation from the two. Talking to both players, neither knew who was the #1 on the depth chart and coaches themselves admitted, “It isn’t settled.”


Well, Mark Dantonio constantly preaches that, “You work hard all the time, because the tape doesn’t lie,” and after reviewing the spring tape a name has emerged. Zach Hueter, the mammoth 6’6” 340# red shirt sophomore from Columbiaville, Michigan, showed a work ethic this spring that made OL coach and guru Dan Roushar take notice.


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Roushar is known as a hawk when it comes to film. Spartan Nation Magazine last season called him “Mark Dantonio’s secret weapon,” and his attention to detail and his commitment to constantly watching film gave him a glimpse of what Hueter could possibly do for his OL in 2010.


I caught up with Roushar yesterday and we talked about his OL. “After watching this spring and going back and evaluating (read countless hours of film work)…Zach we moved around an awful lot from left guard to left tackle to right guard and right tackle so he did a little bit of everything.”


Roushar loves lineman who can do everything. Hueter can. He finds himself getting bigger, faster and stronger. Last spring Davie Barrent started spring recovering from back surgery and Henry Conway who was on the fast track to take the RT spot had a neck injury. Hueter’s versatility allowed Roushar to interchangeably move him to whatever hole his line had.


Hueter, Barrent, Deane, and McGaha will have a major fight on their hands to win that critical RT spot in 2010. Outside of kicker, it will be without a doubt the most highly contested position. With Henry Conway coming off of neck injury the Spartans will not rush him back. I asked Conway recently if he thought he would be back for fall camp and he said, “I hope so.” Until we know his status this looks like a four man race. No matter who wins the job among the potentially five candidates the Spartans are set.


With young men like Hueter who is willing to grab a lunch pail, bring his blue-collar work ethic everyday to practice, and constantly working with Ken Mannie, this position battle is going to be a good one. Roushar said of Hueter, “He has earned that right to compete and he is going to get it.”