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76 Days to Purdue Football: Rick Schmeig

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 2010.

Rick Schmeig - So. (RS)

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH (Oak Hills HS)

Offensive Guard - Center

6'3, 305 pounds

2010 Projection: Likely starter at guard

Friendship among the O-line

We are in need of burly men among the offensive line to protect Robert Marve and open some holes for Al-Terek McBurse. We know that Ken Plue and Dennis Kelly will return as the anchors of our line, but with center, a guard, and a tackle spot up for grabs, Rick Schmeig stands to benefit from the openings. Schmeig comes in as a player with only one start (at left guard against Notre Dame last year). But he has experience by appearing in seven games as a backup. His start came as a result of Zack Reckman's suspension from the Northern Illinois game, which led to the current 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. After redshirting for a season and playing as backup he is ready to become a three-year starter. As a sidebar, this makes me very happy for 2011 in that we look to have our entire offensive line return.

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. My colleague over at Eleven Warriors does not think too highly of Schmeig and his cronies, but I must remind him of 26-18 despite the fact he wrote that less than a month ago.

In doing a simple Google search I have seen that a work ethic has been Schmeig's biggest positive. That is why I like him a lot as a starter this season. He is also versatile. He was essentially the all-purpose backup linesman a year ago. He can play multiple positions, which will pay off. There is the possibility he will win the job at center, but even if someone beats him out I can see him taking the other guard position opposite Plue because of his experience.

Boilermakings note:

Turner Again Shot; Fighting For His Life | Eleven Warriors
Thoughts and prayers with our Big Ten brethren at Ohio State, as recruit Jamel Turner was shot five times and is on life support.