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Football Program Feature: Familiar Faces Anchor Houston O-Line

Sep 4, 2013

Familiar Faces Anchor Houston O-Line
Senior Kevin Forsch Leads Nine Returning Lettermen
Written by: Roman Petrowski

In football, this could not be more true for the offensive line.

There is no secret that offensive linemen are some of the strongest players on the field. Without unity the offensive line is just five strong guys on a football field. However, when working together as a single unit an offensive line can control every aspect of the game.

The offensive line for the Houston Cougars should have no problem finding unity this season. Led by senior guard Kevin Forsch, the Cougars return one of the most experienced lines in the newly formed American Athletic Conference.

“We’ve been together as a unit for a long time, and we all know each other really well,” Forsch said. “Being able to play next to somebody you trust and know is going to get the job done is a big deal.”

Forsch brings 36 games of experience to an
offensive line that returns all but one letterman from the 2012 season and helped pave the way for five separate 100-yard rushing games for Houston running backs. The experience up front will be a key to a successful campaign in 2013.

“In college football any time you can play a bunch of snaps and keep on coming back it just makes everything easier,” first-year offensive line coach Glen Elarbee said. “You’re settled down, you’ve seen more looks and you know how to react to the different stuff that you see that you aren’t expecting. It gives you a sense of calmness.”

For Forsch it’s not just experience that he brings to the 16th-ranked offense in the NCAA in 2012. His teammates and coaches have also taken notice to the fact that Forsch is one of the smartest players on the roster.

“Everybody jokes around and calls him Dell or iPad because he’s so smart,” Elarbee said. “He’s awesome because you tell him something once and he has it. He’s probably the smartest
football player up front that I’ve ever coached. He keeps us all in check.”

Keeping it all in order comes easy for Forsch with the tight knit group that surrounds him. As far as good friends come you would be hard pressed to find another group as close as the
offensive linemen.

“It makes playing with those people a lot easier and a lot more fun when you’re good friends with them,” Forsch said. “It’s just a cool thing because we’ll all have
grill-outs, and we get everybody together having a good time. It makes
everything a lot better.”

The mental part of the game comes natural for Forsch, but perhaps the one aspect Forsch can’t control on the field is the ability of the line to cope with the up-tempo style
offense the Cougars are known to run.

“Being 300 pounds makes it tough sometimes, but the way we practice everything is tempo,” fellow senior lineman Ty Cloud said.

” Everything you do is quick and fast and from place to place as fast as possible. Year round we’re training for it, so once we do get on the field we’re ready for it and its not overtiring.”

Despite the hard work that goes into the Cougars’ style of play, the reward that comes from the end result makes everything worth it for Forsch and the rest of the offensive line.

“When you do it right you see how tired the defensive line gets, and that makes it all worth it,” Forsch said. “You think you’re tired, and then you look over and see them huffing and puffing, and your fatigue goes away because you see them struggling more than you are. You know you have them right where you want them.”

Football is won in the trenches with the offensive line. Five guys sacrificing their bodies play in and play out for the common good of the team. The “big bruisers” up front all working together to ensure the offense works its way down the field and not expecting a single shred of the glory in return. Elarbee would not have it any other way.

“If you’re an offensive lineman you hope you mean a whole bunch to the team without getting a bunch of credit,” Elarbee said. “That’s the beautiful part about the position. The essence of the position is to defend for people and block for people and sacrifice your body. That’s a really noble and high quality to have for a football team.”

For Forsch the glory will come from knowing that he and his offensive line gave everything they have to help the team succeed.

“It means a lot to have a really good senior year,” Forsch said. “Especially with the team we have. I’ve put in a lot of years with a lot of guys that I’ve become really close to. We expect to do a lot of great things.”

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