April 19, 2007

Offensive line coming together

Considering the amount of experience returning along the offensive line, Kent State assistant coach Terry Tilghman had high expectations for his unit when spring drills began earlier this month.

Returning starters Augustus Parrish (left tackle), Shawn Donaldson (left guard), Joshua Perry (center) and Joe Marafine (right guard) have combined to start 54 games over the past three seasons, but so far this spring the group hasn't performed to Tilghman's standards.

"With the group coming back, I think that we can be a strength of the offense," said Tilghman after Wednesday's practice. "It's just disappointing this early in the spring that we're not. I'm just trying to get after them and develop a mentality of being tough guys. They are resisting me right now, but hopefully they'll come around as we get through the rest of spring."

The Golden Flashes made a couple of moves along the offensive line to add even more depth and experience to the group. Marafine moved from his familiar tackle position to right guard and Travis McGraw, who started all 12 games last season, moved to left tackle to add depth to that position.

"I think Joe Marafine moving into right guard is a pretty good player; that's a good move for us because he's a strong, athletic kid and he can really shore up the protection for us in the middle," Tilghman said. "The other good thing we did was Travis McGraw, he moved out to left tackle to push Gus Parrish and create some competition there at that position. They are doing OK, but they aren't where I want them to be yet. There's not an offensive line coach in the country that tells you they're where they want them to be right now."

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