Late last week, the Hoos announced their “jersey draft” and we wondered why 5th year senior and projected starting LT Jack English had not received a number. We may have gotten some insight in that today, with this announcement.
#UVA coach Bronco Mendenhall says OT Jack English has been suspended for the opener against W&M.— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) August 21, 2017
This is potentially a big blow to the Hoos, as English is one of just 2 returning starters on the OL. For just one game, this may not be a huge deal because William & Mary isn’t as capable of capitalizing as some other teams on the schedule. Still, it is important to get the starting OL together in game situations.
Right now, there are a few candidates to take English’s place in the starting lineup. One is true freshman Ryan Nelson. He’s been getting a lot of love from the coaching staff recently, but it would be throwing him to the wolves to put him into his first game at LT in the season opener.
Other possibilities are a pair of redshirt freshmen in Dillon Reinkensmeyer and Ben Trent. They at least have a year of practice under their belts. Reinkensmeyer is also a candidate to start at OC, in which case Jake Fieler may move to LT.
Hopefully, for the Hoos’ sake, whatever English did isn’t a big enough deal to cause him to miss more than just the one game. Missing your starting LT against William and Mary isn’t the same thing as missing him for, say, Boise State. Even if the youngsters play well, they may not be ready for the increase in opposition that will come later this season.