Aug. 22, 2012
BEAUMONT - If Lamar is to enjoy the type of success that it is hoping for on the football field this season, the offensive line is going to have to lead the way.
Anchoring the line will be junior center Kyle Gillam (6-1, 270) who has been on the field for nearly every offensive snap the Cardinals have taken since reinstating the football program for the 2010 season The Lumberton native will be heavily relied upon by first-year position coach Dennis McKnight.
Senior Ryan Jones (6-4, 275) will serve as Gillam's backup at center, and can also provide depth along the line.
The right side of the offensive line has the most experience as senior Sean Robertson (6-1, 270) is currently listed as the starter at right guard and fellow senior Colton Collins (6-3, 310) is set to start at right tackle. Junior Stephen Babin (6-4, 280) and sophomore Ian Kelso (6-0, 280) both have experience and will provide depth on the right side.
Local player Justin Brock (6-5, 280) from West Brook High School will see time at left tackles with senior Kameron Edwards (6-2, 275) returning from a redshirt season to play the position as well. The left guard slot will be manned by redshirt freshman Scott Utterback (6-1, 290) and junior transfer Brock Wempa (6-2, 345).
Helping with the blocking are the Cardinals' tight ends that have the added responsibility of route running and catching passes, as well. Four players will vie for playing time at the tight end position with true sophomore Payden McVey leading all LU tight ends with 17 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns last season.
The other three tight ends are juniors. Jacob Hanna
and P.J. Henderson
are returning for the Cardinals and Cory Soto
is transferring in from Palomar (Calif.) Community College. At 6-foot-8, 255 pounds, Soto is the largest of the group.
Hanna finished the 2011 season with three catches for 30 yards, and the Lumberton product had seven catches for 82 yards and a score in Saturday's scrimmage. Henderson saw action in a pair of games during his sophomore campaign.
Lamar opens the season at Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. The Cardinals' home opener will be the following Saturday (Sept. 8) at 7 p.m. when Prairie View A&M visits Provost Umphrey Stadium. Lamar will host five games following the Prairie View A&M contest. Highlights of the home schedule include the homecoming contest against McMurray at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 and a Southland Conference game against national runner-up Sam Houston State at 3 p.m. Oct. 27.
Tickets can be purchased at the Montagne Center ticket office, by calling (409) 880-1715, or visiting www.LamarCardinals.com.