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TUSCALOOSA — Of all the positional groups, the Alabama offensive line changed the least from January to April.
Only one season-long starter graduated. Expect more of the same, right? Sure. Well, almost.
The departure of center William Vlachos and left tackle Barrett Jones’ shift two spots right complicates the transition slightly. Four starters return, but only three are in the same spot they were in a year ago.
There are still advantages to the new alignment. Size tops the list.
Swapping the 6-foot-1, 294-pound Vlachos for the 6-6, 322-pound left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio gives this unit a little more curb appeal. The five starters average 6-feet, 5.2-inches and 316.4 pounds. By comparison, Stack.com reported the average offensive lineman at the 2011 NFL combine stood 6-4 and weighed 311.5 pounds.
“We have good size on the offensive line, but I think we’re very athletic in the offensive line,” Saban said. “I think we have a chance to have a really good offensive line. … We have how many games started by the guys that we have back, and Cyrus did play a significant amount last year as a freshman.”
The four who return have combined to start 95 games while the other seven offensive positions have a collective 42 starts.
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