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Choosing a New Husky Offensive Line for DeBoer to Consider

It's time for members of the 2020 class to move up and push for time and jobs.

Newly hired Kalen DeBoer mentioned during his introductory news conference how his University of Washington football teams will be quarterback-driven. 

Which means there better be a big convoy of semis ready at all times to escort that guy from one end of Husky Stadium to the other.

Someone might give DeBoer a heads-up that the UW offensive line was a nagging problem during the recently completed 4-8 season that brought about his hiring. Too often, contrary to what previous coach Jimmy Lake promised, the big men up front couldn't back out of the garage.

It will be interesting to see how DeBoer grades his inherited linemen and ultimately uses them. 

DeBoer has three Husky starters returning in right tackle Vic Curne, right guard Henry Bainivalu and the left guard triumvirate of Julius Buelow (5 starts), Ulumoo Ale (6) and Troy Fautanu (1).

Fautanu is clearly a wild card. After starting at left tackle twice as an injury fill-in, he changed positions and surprisingly moved past both Buelow and Ale, who were in uniform and available, to open as a guard for the Apple Cup. 

Other veteran backups are center Corey Luciano, right tackle Matteo Mele and right guard Nate Kalepo. They'll challenge for jobs, but have to be mindful of the guys who were behind them basically getting bigger and stronger. 

Where the real talent pool lies, according to their recruiting hype and past plaudits handed around by the former coaching staff, is in tackles Roger Rosengarten and Samuel Peacock, and centers/guards Geirean Hatchett, Gaard Memmelaar and Myles Murao, who still will be redshirt freshmen entering next season.

Only Rosengarten has played on game day among that fivesome, drawing a handful of snaps in four games this past season and a single outing in 2020.

While DeBoer and his coaches will give everyone a chance to reset in their pursuit of playing time, here's one attempt at drawing up a Husky offensive line:

LT — Vic Curne, Jr., 6-foot-3, 315 pounds

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LG — Troy Fautanu, So., 6-4, 310 pounds

C — Myles Murao, R-Fr., 6-3, 320 pounds

RG — Henry Bainivalu, Sr., 6-6, 330 pounds

RT — Roger Rosengarten, R-Fr., 6-6, 285 pounds

Returning 12-game starters, Curne uses his athleticism to move from right tackle to left in this redrawn line. Bainivalu, another full-time starter coming back, is the only lineman fully entrenched at the same position over what will be three seasons and the only senior starter. He had an up-and-down season and will be out to make himself more consistent and a viable NFL prospect.

Fautanu has shown he's capable of playing tackle and guard as a starter, and he's more streamlined than the aforementioned Ale and Buelow, who will need to slim down some to keep up with him. 

Murao was one of the highest-rated offensive line recruits coming in and he'll finally get his chance to play after trying center and guard, and watching on Saturdays for two seasons. Rosengarten likely reports to spring ball closer to 300 pounds, needing only to fill out some to be a steady performer. By playing in games before his Husky classmates, it shows he has star quality.

Of the other young guns, Hatchett will press Murao for the center job, while Memmelaar will put himself in the mix at guard. Peacock needs more weight and strength to make a move at tackle. 

It'll be interesting to see who DeBoer and his new staff like the most of the returning linemen and where they use them, and whether or not he brings in transfer-portal help to add to the competition. 

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