Aug. 16, 2004
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The biggest question mark and problem area for the Cardinals heading into the 2003 season was the offensive line. However, ask the coaching staff what the biggest surprise was, and they would say the offensive front.
After yielding 46 sacks in 2002, the Cardinals front five allowed just
13 last season. This group also helped the Cardinals set the school mark for rushing yards in a season and average yards per carry (5.7).
The Cardinals lost two starters in the trenches in center Dan~nbsp> Koons and guard Jerry~nbsp> Spencer, and will have to make some changes this fall.
However, the good news is the Cardinals can build on two All-Conference
performers. Junior weak tackle Travis Leffew and junior Jason Spitz each
earned second team All-C-USA honors and are two of the most talented
linemen in the league. Leffew has made 26 straight starts and is one of
the most athletic linemen on the squad. Spitz has started 14 straight at
weak guard and is one of the toughest and most skilled players upfront.
The other returning starter is also a solid player in sophomore Renardo
Foster. At 6-5, Foster is a mammoth specimen who made a successful
transition to the offensive side of the football to start 13 games at
tackle. A former defensive tackle, Foster was named to the All-C-USA
Junior Kurt Quarterman, who weighs in at over 350 pounds, will take
over at strong guard and junior Bubba Marshall will also compete there
for playing time. Junior-college transfer Jeremy Darveau is another
300-pounder who'll get time at tackle, but could fill other positions
Former offensive guard Will Rabatin moved to the center position in the
spring after spending most of his career at guard. Rabatin is a
technically-sound lineman and will compete with sophomore P.J. Tavarczky
for the starting nod this fall. Red-shirt freshman Danny Barlowe is a
hard worker and will likely backup Spitz at the weak guard.