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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 3, 2009 at 10:38 AM

O-line taking shape

As spring practice gets underway, the stories of body transformation during the off-season conditioning program are also beginning to surface.
One of the more notable may be that of Ben Ossai, who said Thursday that he went from 31 percent body fat to 19 percent during the 10-week program.
I wrote about that a little bit for my story for the print and on-line today.
Ossai said he weighs about the same as he did last year — 319. “But it was a different 319 last year,” he said.
Ossai said there was no magic to the conditioning program — at the end of the day, really only so many ways to lift weights or run sprint — that it wasn’t what they did, “but how we do it.” As I quoted him in the story, he said “we worked harder than we’ve ever worked before.”
Ossai, a starter the last three years at left tackle, has now moved inside to guard with the coaches trying redshirt frosh Drew Schaefer at RT and moving Cody Habben to LT.
“They just told me to do it and said it would be better for the team and I said ‘okay, I’ll do it,”’ he said. “I was fine with it.”
Ossai said he also will continue to get some reps at tackle and may alternate between spots.
But he said he is also growing to like guard a little bit.
“When I get a fast guy now I’ve got (a guy running) 5.2s and 5.3s(40 times) instead of 4.9’s and 4.7s.”
Ossai said there are also some subtler changes he has to make such as shortening his stagger step and being aggressive right off the snap. “At guard you have to hold the pocket right away,” he said. “Little things like that.”
UW coach Steve Sarkisian emphasized that nothing should be written in stone about the lineup of the first two practices.
“We’re trying to do what’s best for our football team and looking at some things,” he said of the remade O-line. “It remains to be seen if that’s where we’ll stay or if we’ll move around some more.”
Sarkisian said the defense has been giving the O-line “a lot of different fronts and movements” and that the O-line “had a little bit of a tough time (on Thursday) especially in the run game. We’ll have to evaluate it again and see where we are at.”
But he also said he thought there have been some good signs early on with the line.
“I think we’ve gotten to the edge a little bit better than I was anticipating and gotten outside a few times, and I think that’s part of being able to cover guys up and giving our backs a chance to run,” he said. “So the challenge for us is to make sure we are physical enough. We will find that out as we get into pads.”

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