UVa offensive tackles among nation's best

August, 21, 2012
8/21/12
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Virginia coach Mike London is biased (as he should be when it comes to his players) but he’s also right – the Cavaliers might have one of the nation’s best offensive tackle duos in Morgan Moses and Oday Aboushi.

[+] EnlargeMorgan Moses
Steve Helber/AP PhotoVirginia's Morgan Moses, who started 13 games last season, is expected to shore up the line again.
Both are on the preseason watch lists for the Outland and Lombardi trophies. Both started all 13 games last year. And both can play either side, left or right, protect the quarterback’s blind side or help off the edge. Individually, they’re both talented, and Aboushi could be a first-round NFL draft pick. Together, though, they should be a major asset for the Cavaliers’ quarterbacks.

“I think there’s a level of experience there that we have,” London said. “...From a recognition standpoint, from a physical skills standpoint, they’ve been in big games and have played on both sides so it has to be one of our strengths, to protect the edge, and hopefully they’ll do a good job of doing that.”

London said Moses dropped about 30 pounds this offseason and it has made him a better, faster player.

“When he lost weight before it was one of those liquid diets,” London said. “He would put on a rubber suit and run around and say, ‘Hey coach I lost it.’ We have a sports nutritionist here who put a menu together for him and cut out certain meals, told him what time to eat. He stayed on schedule with that. He worked out, he was running, now he weighs 30 pounds less, did sprints the other day with the linemen, last year he was in the middle to back of the pack, today he was out in front. When a guy sees his conditioning level has improved, feels lighter, it’s a mind-set that's been created or been revealed to him. If you take care of your body, it’s going to take care of your performance on the field.”

Moses was rated the No. 6 player at his position by ESPN.com in 2009, and Aboushi was No. 26. They’re living up to the hype. Last year, Aboushi was twice named the ACC’s offensive lineman of the week. He had 13 knockdown blocks in a road win at Indiana, and he had 11 knockdown blocks in a road win at Miami. He and Moses should again pave the way for UVa’s offense.

“From what I’ve seen from them in games, when you have two guys who have played both positions, left and right ... the notoriety they’ve garnered is based on accomplishments on the field,” London said. “Their skill level at the tackles those two guys have I think does make at least consideration for being one of the best pair (in the country).”

There’s little doubt they’ll be among the best in the ACC.

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