90i #49: Tony Durkin July 14, 2013
6′-3″ 280 lbs.
Redshirt Sophomore (on scholarship, 3 years to play 3)
Andrew High School / Tinley Park, Illinois
What I Know About Him:
What’s my rule? For 80% of offensive linemen when they arrive on campus, it’s eat, lift, eat, lift, and see you in three years as redshirt juniors. Which would mean Durkin has one more year before he’s fully ready.
Durkin has been a center for most of his two years here, but it will be interesting to see how Bill Cubit and AJ Ricker use their offensive linemen. Some offenses call for inside guys and outside guys, where the inside guys can play any of the three positions. Some want specialists at each position, where the center makes all of the line calls and such. Is Durkin simply a center, or will he be more of a center/guard? We’ll find out in Rantoul.
What I Expect From Him:
Coming out of spring, it looked like we had a fairly solid starting five on the offensive line: from left to right, Cvijanovic, Heitz, Hill, Karras, and Lewis. But the second string is wide open. Three tackles fighting for the two backup spots, plus several guards and at least two centers.
For Durkin, my best guess right now is that Jake Feldmeyer becomes more of a guard and backs up one or both guard spots (maybe Joe Spencer, too), and Durkin is the backup center to Alex Hill. It’s always strange doing a two-deep for offensive linemen, given that there’s usually a tackle that can back up both spots and a guard that can do the same. So again, a lot depends on how Cubit/Ricker use their guys, and which position Feldmeyer plays, and several other factors.
All of that to say this: Tony Durkin is our backup center this year. Maybe.