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2022 UCF Football Position Preview: Offensive Line

The senior-laden group gets retooled in the portal for another run

NCAA Football: Memphis at Central Florida
OL Samuel Jackson
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 UCF Knights offensive line is a senior-laden group that had to use the transfer portal to plug some holes. In 2021, the line struggled at times with run block explosiveness and pass block speed against upper echelon competition. With the American Athletic Conference expected to be more of a balanced league, the line will need to acclimate the new talent quickly and avoid the injury bug.

The holdovers

NCAA Football: Bethune Cookman at Central Florida
OL Matt Lee
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

In the middle at center will be Matt Lee. Lee earned third-team All-AAC last year by Pro Football Focus after getting first-team honors from the AAC in 2020. Despite being dinged up quite a bit last year to the point where Malzahn had to pull him, he started 12 games. The Rimington Award watchlist center is only a junior, which means he should be around to continue to anchor the line.

NCAA Football: Bethune Cookman at Central Florida
OL Lokahi Pauole
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Lining up next to Lee is right guard Lokahi Pauole. Pauole earned the most accolades last year from the holdovers, being named second-team All-AAC by the league coaches and Phil Steele. Like Lee, Pauole is getting noticed by award committees by being named to the Outland Trophy watchlist.

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Central Florida
OL Sam Jackson
Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Lastly, at right tackle will be elder statemen Sam Jackson. Jackson has experience at all four guard and tackle positions, which allows Malzahn and offensive line coach Herb Hand to put Jackson where they need him. Jackson covered right tackle last year and that’s where he’ll stay.

The newbies

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Virginia
OL Ryan Swoboda
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With the loss of Cole Schneider and Marcus Tatum, Gus Malzahn hit the transfer portal and brought in a pair of seniors in Tylan Grable and Ryan Swoboda. Grable, a transfer from FCS Jacksonville State earned second-team All-American honors during the spring 2021 season while with the Gamecocks. In the fall 2021 campaign, he was a unanimous pick for the ASUN conference all-league squad. Grable will be lining up at left tackle. Swoboda, a Claremont native, is a very tall 6ft10in transfer from Virginia. He largely played right tackle, but will be playing left guard for UCF.

The depth

NCAA Football: Central Florida Spring Game
OL Paul Rubelt
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

UCF’s depth on the offensive line has not been their strong suit. Last year, UCF had five seniors on their two-deep roster. Only one is back in Sam Jackson and the coaching staff felt that they needed to hit the transfer portal to find new starters. At left tackle, the Knights had to start over, so with Grable starting, Edward Collins looks to have shifted from backing up Jackson at right tackle over to the left side. Paul Rubelt looks to be Jackson’s backup. Nate Brady has experience as a center as well. One player to keep an eye on is Georgia transfer Cameron Kinnie, Ethan Mort, and Chidoziri Maghiro look to also be in the line rotation.

Coach Herb Hand has worked with getting players proficient with multiple positions on the line, so players can shift around as needed due to injuries. Sam Jackson feels there has been an improvement in the team’s depth.

UCF Offensive Linemen

No. Name Ht Wt Year 2021 School 2021 UCF Stats
No. Name Ht Wt Year 2021 School 2021 UCF Stats
50 Patrick Barnett 6-6 300 R-So. UCF Played one game
51 Cameron Kinnie 6-3 315 R-So. Georgia
52 Caden Kitler 6-3 295 Fr. John Paul II HS(TX)
55 Matthew Lee 6-4 295 R-Jr. UCF Started 12 games at center, third-team All-AAC
57 John Harris 6-4 298 R-Jr. Virginia Tech
63 Josh Cox 6-4 300 R-Jr. UCF Did not play
64 Shaheem Hill 6-4 342 Fr. Edgewater HS(FL)
66 Chidoziri Maghiro 6-5 325 R-Sr. UCF Played three games
69 Paul Rubelt 6-10 330 R-So. UCF Played three games
70 Edward Collins 6-6 315 R-Sr. UCF Played in all 13 games
71 Tylan Grable 6-7 290 R-Sr. Jacksonville State
72 Nate Brady 6-4 270 R-Jr. UCF Did not play
72 Ryan Swoboda 6-10 325 5th Virginia
73 Samuel Jackson 6-6 325 5th UCF Started 13 games, honorable mention All-AAC
74 Ethan Mort 6-6 290 R-Fr. UCF Did not play
76 Adrian Medley 6-5 305 R-Jr. UCF Played in five games, one start
77 Lokahi Pauole 6-4 305 Sr. UCF Started 13 games, second-team All-AAC