Biggest shoes to fill: California

March, 22, 2013
3/22/13
12:00
PM ET
Starters in, starters out. That’s college football. Players’ eligibility expires, and they leave for the rest of their lives, whether that includes the NFL or not.

And they leave behind shoes of various sizes that need to be filled.

Our concern with this series? The biggest shoes -- in some cases Shaq-like size 23s.

Biggest shoes: Center Brian Schwenke

Like yesterday's "Biggest Shoes" subject, Colorado offensive lineman David Bakhtiari, it's tough to really quantify what Schwenke meant to the team. But when you look back over his career -- the fact that he appeared in 48 games and started at three different positions along the way -- you start to get a feel for how important he was to the line. Over the final three seasons he started 36 games and in 2012 was a first-team all-league selection. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. rates him as the No. 2 center Insider in the upcoming NFL draft.

Stepping in: Matt Cochran or Mark Brazinski

Neither has much experience -- which makes this one of the more intriguing position battles in Berkeley this offseason. While so much attention is going to be on who is throwing the ball in Sonny Dykes new up-tempo offense, almost equally important is who is going to be snapping. Cochran, a redshirt freshman, was a well-respected recruit who ranked among the top 60 players in the state as a prep lineman. Reports out of camp are that he may be the frontrunner. Brazinski was originally slated as a starting left tackle last spring until an injury knocked him off course. He's appeared in four games in his career -- and only two in each of the past two seasons. Schwenke's consistency and versatility will be missed -- especially during a time of transition.

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