Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
After this, it's just one post left with "Upgrade or Downgrade? QB", and we'll have hit every position with new starters in 2009 (except for special teams). For today, we're looking at Right Tackle. In 2008 we had a couple different starters at right tackle, but it was The Mike Harris Show (I mean that in a good way!) for the last 5 games. After spring in 2009, Jeff Baca is slated to start at the right tackle spot.
While I have enormous respect for what Baca did last season, I don't think an upgrade here is a complete given, except in terms of experience (which is crucial of course). Mike Harris was voted the most improved player on offense in 2008 and deserves a lot of credit for he did. While he wasn't a true freshman like Baca, he was a redshirt freshman with no playing time during the previous season, so I think their accomplishments in 2008 are pretty similar. Physically, Harris is HUGE at 6'5" 326 lbs. The other thing to note is that Harris was injured (unfortunately an ongoing theme with Harris) in the spring and so he didn't really have a chance to compete for the starting spot on the depth chart.
Jeff Baca started at left tackle for 8 games in 2008 and, all things considered, did as fine a job as anyone could expect for a starting freshman at left tackle. Obviously, the coaches liked what he did as he managed to hold on to our most critical offensive line position for the final 8 games. Jeff made the Rivals all freshmen team in 2008. If he keeps his spot, I'm sure we'll continue to see him progress tremendously in 2009. While he is number 1 on the depth chart following spring, I think he is going to have his hands full holding off Harris, Sua'filo, and Abele, among others. It is nice to see we are finally getting some depth on our O-line!
So, what do you guys think? Is Jeff Baca an upgrade, downgrade, or about the same as last year's Mike Harris?