Print and Go Back ESPN.com: ACC [Print without images]

Friday, August 22, 2008
Trey Bailey shaking the shadow of Steve Justice

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Like most coaches in the ACC, Jim Grobe is a little concerned about his offensive line heading into the season opener against Baylor. One of the biggest questions heading into summer camp was how center Trey Bailey would handle filling the gaping hole left by All-American Steve Justice.

All indications from within the program are that Bailey is finally starting to shake the shadow of his predecessor. Bailey played in seven games last year, but his season-high 10 snaps against Clemson pale in comparison to the role he'll have against the Tigers this year.

"He was a little bit worried about it until we got a few practices in, and now he's so worn out, he can't take the time to worry," Grobe said. "He's just fighting for a chance to protect our quarterback. He's more worried about his assignments right now and doing his job than any of that kind of stuff."

The big question now is who will be Bailey's backup. Right now, there are two freshmen behind him, so odds are Grobe will bump starting left guard Russ Nenon to center.

So far, the Demon Deacons' offensive line looks like this:

LT -- Joe Birdsong

LG -- Russ Nenon

C -- Bailey

RG -- Barrett McMillin

RT -- Jeff Griffin

These guys know they have something to prove.

"Coming in we heard a lot of question marks about us, losing a great player like Steve Justice," Birdsong said. "I mean, he's an All-American. You have a big responsibility to fill those holes. I just think they've done a great job of bringing us slowly along. Trey Bailey has been waiting for two years. He could've been playing in this league since he was a freshman."

Now Bailey has the chance to show it.