|Joey Burzynski (#56) playing center in spring 2011|
Weight: 295 lbs.
High school: Carlsbad (CA) Carlsbad
Position: Offensive guard
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #56
Last year: I didn't rank Burzynski. He played in four games as a backup offensive guard.
Burzynski came a little bit out of nowhere last season to be a somewhat valuable backup offensive lineman. While he played a little bit of center in spring 2011, he only appeared at guard during the season. I didn't pay much attention to him individually during the season, but by this past spring game, he had "surpassed" the other competitors to start at left guard.
Going into the 2012 season, I have a hard time believing he will hold onto that starting spot. My gut feeling from the spring is that when the Alabama game arrives, the starting left guard will be Elliott Mealer. Burzynski did not appear to be particularly impressive, and while he's put on enough weight to be a viable option in the size department, I'm not sure that will be the deciding factor. To reiterate my theory, I think the coaches might have started Burzynski at left guard in the spring game to test him and to have a complete second unit. If the coaches had started Mealer at left guard, the second unit tackles would have both been walk-ons (likely Kristian Mateus and Erik Gunderson), neither of whom is likely to play a significant role. Mealer is bigger (6'4", 310 lbs.), more experienced, and more athletic than Burzynski. Regardless of who starts, Burzynski should have considerable value as a starter or backup interior lineman.
Prediction: Backup left guard