Baucus, Ebbele could be cornerstones of future Arizona offensive linesby Anthony Gimino on Dec. 15, 2010, under Sports
The Arizona Wildcats are losing their entire starting offensive line after this season, so who’s next?
One likely answer is Kyle Quinn, who will make his first career start in the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl against Oklahoma State. Quinn replaces senior Colin Baxter, who is out following surgery on his right knee.
The next wave includes three redshirt freshmen and four freshmen who are redshirting. Among that latter group, watch for Mickey Baucus and Fabbians Ebbele.
“Those two young tackles, if they continue to improve, they’re going to be as good as anybody I’ve coached,” said offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator Bill Bedenbaugh.
“They’ve got that talent. Now, they have to come with a mentality and a competitiveness and a toughness and those kind of things. If you look at them and see how they work, they’ve got what it takes.”
Baucus was listed at 6-8 and 275 pounds at the beginning of camp. Ebbele was listed at 6-6, 295. Both are from Illinois, which is Bedenbaugh’s recruiting area, one of the reasons why it’s important for Arizona to retain him. Bedenbaugh is the lead recruiter on four-star offensive lineman Chris Bryant, Ebbele’s former teammate at Chicago Simeon High School.
Arizona has a commitment from center Addison Bachman from Citrus Community College in Glendora, Calif. He is expected to enroll for the spring semester. If he wins the starting job, Quinn could move to guard.
The Wildcats are in pursuit of other junior college linemen to bolster what will be an inexperienced offensive line in 2011.
But there is the chance for a solid foundation that includes Baucus and Ebbele.
“We’re recruiting some other guys right now, but I think if they have the spring that I’m hoping they have, then they’ll be ready to go and start for four years,” Bedenbaugh said. “They have to do it on the field … but they’ve got everything it takes.”
As for Quinn, he could end up staying at center or playing guard, depending on who else Arizona brings in and how players develop.
“I have a ton of confidence in Kyle. Kyle is extremely athletic. He is a smart guy; he over-thinks things sometimes. But he’s passionate. He loves playing and he wants to be really good. Works as hard as anybody I’ve been around.”