The Chattanooga Mocs are now three practices into the training camp schedule following a pair of early morning workouts over the last two days. With the second summer school session ending on Tuesday, those still in class are grinding towards final exams while getting ready for the upcoming season.
Morning practices remain in place until a two-a-day on Wednesday, August 6. In the meantime, GoMocs.com begins its official position-by-position breakdown with today’s overview of the offensive line.
Chattanooga’s front five includes three experienced returners, but two spots will be filled with newcomers. The Mocs lost center Patrick Sutton and right guard Kevin Revis to graduation. Revis was a team captain and first team All-Southern Conference selection, while Sutton was a former walk-on who started every game the last three years.
Luckily, the Mocs have two returners who are gaining some serious recognition. Junior Synjen Herren (6-4, 315) is a preseason first team All-SoCon and returning starter at left guard. Sophomore Corey Levin (6-5, 275) is back at left tackle. He was on the SoCon All-Freshman team last season and is a second team all-league pick heading into 2014.
“You have to add Brandon Morgan into that mix because he started a lot of games and played a lot of football for us,” added Chattanooga head coach Russ Huesman. “If you think about it, we have three returning starters back. No question, we feel really good about those guys.”
Morgan (6-2, 290) is a junior who has 22 starts in his career at left tackle. Look for senior Chris Mayes (6-3, 295) to battle for the job at right guard. The former transfer from Navy moved over from defensive line in the spring and is No. 1 on the depth chart next to Morgan.
There is a battle at center between redshirt freshman Jacob Revis (6-3, 295) and junior Channing Smith (6-4, 280). Jacob is Kevin’s younger brother, and improved tremendously during his year redshirt season. Smith saw action in 10 games last year, mostly on special teams, after transferring from Marshall.
“Jacob Revis is leading at center right now, and we feel like he is going to be a good player,” stated Huesman. “He is getting pushed by Channing Smith – the transfer from Marshall – who we like a lot. Channing can probably swing guard to center, or vice-versa.”
Junior Casey Hybarger (6-5, 300) is the only other returner with any game experience. He has played in three games in his career and is No. 2 on the depth chart at left guard. Redshirt freshman Hunter Townson (6-4, 280) is also expected to contribute. He enrolled at UTC in January 2012, but missed most of last year with an injury. He is back at 100 percent and is No. 2 at right tackle.
“Hunter Townson is a really good, young player who we think can play and contribute,” continued Huesman. “We have seven or eight quality Southern Conference players and it’s a great group of hard workers. We feel really good about them.”
Other returners include junior Brenton Leeper (6-2, 280), sophomore Robert Hill (6-2, 280) and redshirt freshman Alex Hooper (6-1, 310). All three are competing on the inside at left and right guard. Leeper is listed at No. 3 on the left, but has moved over to back up Mayes while Hooper and Hill recover from injuries.
The Mocs have three freshmen signees, along with a pair of walk-ons, trying to work their way into the mix. Cam Walker (6-4, 245) was an all-state honoree at Chattanooga’s McCallie School and is competing for time at center. Kennington Cadwell (6-6, 315) and Brandon Parker (6-3, 265) were both standout players in high school and could make their way on to the two-deep this season.
“We like all three of those guys,” continued Huesman. “We liked them all on high school film and we think that they’re all going to be good. It’s so hard for a freshman to play on the offensive line. The maturity level, physical aspect and mental aspect are different than what they’re used to coming out of high school. It makes it really hard.”
“I am really pleased with the incoming freshmen and what we have to work with, as far as developing those guys for the future, “ stated offensive line coach Chris Malone. “They have taken the instruction very well. As long as the attitude and effort is good then we have a pretty good group ultimately.”
Be sure to check out the MocsVision videos and interviews included on this page, along with the photo gallery from recent practices. Below is a preseason depth chart for the offensive line. Reminder that season tickets are on sale now on GoMocs.com or by calling the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).
OFFENSIVE LINE DEPTH CHART
|RT||73||Brandon Morgan||6-2||290||Jr.-2L||Hoover, Ala.|
|70||Hunter Townson||6-4||280||Fr.-RS||Ider, Ala.|
|78||Josh Butler||6-7||260||Fr.-HS||Franklin, Tenn.|
|RG||55||Chris Mayes||6-3||295||Sr.-2L||Murfreesboro, Tenn.|
|76||Alex Hooper||6-1||310||Fr.-RS||Cleveland, Tenn.|
|54||Robert Hill||6-2||280||So.-1L||Buford, Ga.|
|C||52||Jacob Revis||6-3||295||Fr.-RS||Dayton, Tenn.|
|53||Channing Smith||6-4||280||Jr.-1L||Kermit, W.Va.|
|75||Cam Walker||6-4||245||Fr.-HS||Chattanooga, Tenn.|
|LG||74||Synjen Herren||6-4||315||Jr.-2L||Dalton, Ga.|
|79||Casey Hybarger||6-5||300||Jr.-2L||Cleveland, Tenn.|
|63||Brenton Leeper||6-2||280||Jr.-1L||Kingsport, Tenn.|
|61||Tanner Dillard||6-0||225||Fr.-HS||Cleveland, Tenn.|
|LT||62||Corey Levin||6-5||275||So.-1L||Dacula, Ga.|
|57||Kennington Cadwell||6-6||315||Fr.-HS||Decatur, Ga.|
|51||Brandon Parker||6-3||265||Fr.-HS||Lithonia, Ga.|