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Position breakdown: Offensive line

8/25/2012

Each day for the next week, NittanyNation will take a look at a different position and break it down. Today it's the offensive line.

Another offensive position, another question mark. Center Matt Stankiewitch is the only returning starter here -- and he's the only returning player on offense who started every game last season.

Miles Dieffenbach and John Urschel will start inside, while redshirt freshman Donovan Smith and Adam Gress (or Mike Farrell) will play at tackle.

The offensive line added some bulk this offseason thanks to the new weightlifting program, and linemen have said they feel a little more athletic. They'll be counted on to open holes for first-year starter Bill Belton immediately, so they're hoping that program pays off sooner rather than later.

Positives

• New weightlifting program means a bigger offensive line.

• Stankiewitch is the most experienced player on the whole offense.

• Youth means PSU won't have to reload like this for a few seasons.

Negatives

• With four new starters, the line will take a while to jell.

• A hamstring injury has prevented Donovan Smith from getting the practice time he needs.

• Inexperienced tailbacks and receivers won't cut this line any slack.