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2020 Tulane Position Preview: Offensive Line

Experience will lead the way for the Wave in the trenches.

Houston v Tulane Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The big fellas up front are the tapestry that holds an offense together, any football fan knows that. Without them quarterbacks don’t stay upright and the ball doesn’t get out of the backfield. Those guys, though, serve an even more significant role when the identity of their team is formulated around running the ball. So is the case for Tulane’s squad of lineman. The team’s success hinges almost solely on what happens in the trenches and, fortunately for the the Green Wave, there’s some rock solid guys holding down the fort. This unit allowed 28 sacks last season which was about middle of the pack as far as the AAC is concerned. They did, however, pave the way for Tulane’s efficient ground game that ranked second in the conference.

Let’s start with guard Corey Dublin. Weighing in at 300 lbs, the 6-4 senior has just the kind of experience you want on the line. Dublin has yet to miss a game for the Wave in his three years (that’s 38 for those of you counting at home and yes, he started almost all of them). His experience at left guard and center will serve him well as he enters his final season. Dublin has helped Tulane’s offense post several noteworthy achievements since 2017 including: the No. 4 rushing offense in the AAC in 2017, an average of over 200 rush yards per game in 2018 and the American’s second best rushing team in 2019.

Dublin received an honorable mention with the all-conference team a year ago for his work on the line. Seldom does the man he’s blocking get through. To catch a glimpse of what he brings to the table, you can watch some of Tulane’s highlights of last year’s season opener against FIU below (Dublin - #64).

Joining Dublin will be tackle Joey Claybrook. Claybrook, who comes in at 6-6, 295 lbs, has 24 games worth of experience. After not playing in his freshman season, he was a crucial piece in Tulane’s back-to-back bowl runs in 2018 and 2019. Now as a redshirt junior, Claybrook is expected to be a starter and a vital component of the offense this fall. You can also see some of his highlights in the above video (Claybrook - #79).

Handling snapping duties will most likely be center Sincere Haynesworth. The 6-1, 315 lb sophomore made 11 appearances for the Wave last season and started in five of those contests.

Moving down the line, redshirt junior Cameron Jackel is expected to get the nod at right tackle while transfer Ben Knutson, formerly of Virginia, should start at right guard. Jackel weighs in at 6-6, 290 lbs and made only one start a year ago. He did, however, appear in 10 games throughout the 2019 campaign. Knutson who comes in at a lofty 6-7, 315 lbs, appeared in 19 total games for the Cavaliers. He also made six starts for Tulane last season.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Virginia
During his time with Virginia, Ben Knutson (#65) blocked for Kurt Benkert, the program’s first QB to pass for 3,000 yards in a single season.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Remondet, the Wave’s projected second-string left guard, made two appearances for Tulane last season. The redshirt sophomore was a two-star recruit coming out of Ascension Episcopal High School and looks to be a solid backup to Dublin.

Other projected second-stringers will be left tackle Nik Hogan, center Stephen Lawerenz, right tackle Trey Tuggle and right guard Rashad Green. These four have a combined six games experience at the collegiate level. Tuggle and Green are the team’s incoming freshman.

Other names currently on the Wave’s O line depth chart are Timothy Shafter, Colby Orgeron, Jackson Fort and Trace Oldner. Don’t be shocked if any of these guys gets a shot later in the season if injuries and fatigue take their typical toll on the big guys.

Our Depth Chart Prediction

Line 1 - LG: Corey Dublin, LT: Joey Claybrook, C: Sincere Haynesworth, RT: Cameron Jackel, RG: Ben Knutson

Line 2 - LG: Michael Remondet, LT: Nik Hogan, C: Stephen Lewerenz, RT: Trey Tuggle, RG: Rashad Green

Reserves - Colby Orgeron, Timothy Shafter, Jackson Fort, Trace Oldner