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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Quinn stepping up

Kyle+Quinn
Kyle Quinn

Kyle Quinn has started only one game in his career on the Arizona football team, but he’s a grizzled veteran when compared to his fellow offensive linemen.

Quinn, a redshirt junior out of Liberty High School in California was forced into action after former UA center Colin Baxter was hurt leading up to last year’s Alamo Bowl. But that experience helped him in the offseason, telling him what to expect come Sept. 3, when the season opens against NAU.

Although his experience is minimal, Quinn, in his fourth year in the football program, is more battle-tested, both in games and practice, than anyone else that will play on Arizona’s offensive line in 2011. Because of that, his O-line-mates have turned to him with any questions.

“”That’s the person we can look to, that’s the person we depend on and lean on,”” said redshirt freshman tackle Fabbians Ebbele.

Ebbele said that Quinn has talked about how the line needs to be a “”tough group,”” and that it needs to use the underdog role as motivation in 2011.

But talking about how the group needs to play and actually doing it are two very different things. During his time at Arizona, Quinn has been able to see how dozens of players have handled themselves in certain situations, which gives him a better idea of how to handle being looked at as the leader of a group.

Because of the amount of time he has spent in Arizona’s football program, Quinn said that he’s embracing the role of being the “”old man”” of the unit.

“”I woke up (Thursday) morning and it was my fourth camp, so it’s been a while,”” Quinn said, before adding that this year’s O-line is “”playing with a chip on our shoulder”” because of the questions surrounding the youth of the group, and will be “”fired up”” for the season.

Quinn has also been able to use what he learned from Baxter in the three previous years. Replacing Baxter’s 49 career starts won’t be easy, but redshirt sophomore guard Eric Bender-Ramsay thinks Quinn is up to the task.

“”(Quinn) is like Colin’s little sidekick,”” Bender-Ramsay said. “”He knows the ins and outs (of the offense), so he brings a lot to us. He’s the captain, and he’s the leader right now.””

Quinn said that he knew he would need to take more of a leadership role this season, and that’s something he worked on during the spring and summer.

“”I’ve just gotta tell them what a game experience is like,”” Quinn said. “”Tell them how physically and mentally demanding it is. You’ve just got to help them prepare, because if they’re prepared mentally, they’re prepared physically.””

Ebbele said he thinks that, although Quinn has just one career start, people undervalue the experience he brings to the table.

“”They always talk about nobody being the leader, but he’s been here,”” Ebbele said.

Quinn focused his attention during the offseason toward studying film with the other offensive linemen. While he said getting on the field and building continuity is the best thing that the group can do, watching others in action during games is also beneficial.

But as time goes on the members of the unit will start to get more familiar with each other, something that Quinn said he is looking forward to.

“”We’re very close, we get along great, we’re just starting to gel,”” Quinn said. “”We’re coming together as a group. The only thing we’ve played together is spring ball and the spring game. We’re going to continue to grow together and just go out and attack everybody as one.””

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