Expectations High for Senior-Laden Offensive Line
Courtesy: Tim Fitzgerald/CMU Athletics
Offensive line coach Mike Cummings makes a point to (from left) Nick Beamish, Mike Repovz and Jake Olson during a practice earlier this spring. CMU returns six offensive linemen who started games in 2011.
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The success of any offense begins with the play of its offensive line.

With four seniors among the projected starting five and six players returning who started multiple games a year ago, the offensive line figures to be a position of strength for the Chippewas in 2012.

[Watch: Spring Football Insider - Host Justin Hoff talks with senior linemen Mike Repovz and Jake Olson.]

The group overachieved in 2011, as injuries forced CMU to use four different combinations of starters during the course of the season. Still, the line allowed just 17 sacks in 12 games, the fourth fewest in the Mid-American Conference and second fewest per pass attempt, and produced an All-MAC performer in then junior Eric Fisher.

Fisher, Darren Keyton and Jake Olson each are entering their fourth season in the starting lineup, while classmate Mike Repovz is beginning his third year as a starter.

Andy Phillips and Kevin Henry started the season's final five and four games, respectively, as redshirt freshmen in 2011. They will compete for starting roles again in 2012 and will be pushed by three freshmen who redshirted in 2011: Ramadan Ahmeti, Nick Beamish and Kenny Rogers.

Four juniors also provide valuable depth along the front: Jeff Fantuzzi, Aaron McCord, Cody Pettit and Adam Schneid.

Spring Game April 14: CMU's spring football game is Saturday, April 14 at 2 p.m. at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. The Chippewas' players and coaches will host a free kids clinic prior to the game; the clinic is set to begin at 11:30 a.m.