We continue our tour of potential offensive line starters today with another player that has been solidly on the depth chart for the past few seasons. Rick Schmeig spent most of last season as one of the top line backups, but he only has one start so far. He is currently in line to take over the other starting guard spot opposite Ken Plue in 2011.
Rick Schmeig - Jr. (RS)
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH (Oak Hills HS)
Offensive Guard - Center
6'3, 315 pounds
2011 Projection: Starter at left guard
Schmeig has been the swiss army knife of the offensive line the past few seasons, filling in plenty of times as the most versatile backup possible. He enters 2011 as the likely starter at left guard, giving us stability at the critical line position. Peters Drey, Plue, Dennis Kelly, and Nick Mondek all return as starters, and with the amount of time Schmeig has seen as a reserve his integration should be smooth.
His first start came as a result of Zack Reckman's suspension from the Northern Illinois game, which led to the pissing contest between Danny Hope and Rich Rodriguez. It is amazing what one punch can do. Reckman's gaffe is a bit of a blessing in disguise because it gives us another experienced player to set along the line. Schmeig was another 2-star recruit that was mostly an afterthought of the 2008 class, but is an example of what hard work can do.
Schmeig is a law and society major that was recruited by Iowa, Michigan, West Virginia, and Louisville. The fact he didn't have a ton of accolades in recruiting shows he is willing to do the dirty work in order to get ahead. In doing a simple Google search I have seen that a work ethic has been Schmeig's biggest positive. He was the 2009 spring Most Improved player on the offense. That is why I like him a lot as a starter this season.