Bruins could stick with three true freshmen on offensive line

Those three true freshmen on UCLA’s offensive line might stay there all season.

Assistant coach Adrian Klemm said Wednesday that if his current front five continues to perform, he could consider sticking with what is now his third starting lineup. Injuries have forced the fluidity: starting left tackle Simon Goines, who has a history of knee problems, is still limping with an injured right MCL; backup Conor McDermott (shoulder) is also sidelined.

“I want to have continuity, but at the same time, I don’t think a guy loses his position to injury,” Klemm said. “If we’re rolling and things are good, we have cohesiveness and we’re playing well, I don’t see any reason to shake it up.

“Regardless of if Simon comes back next week or two weeks from now, he’s not going to be healthy anyway. Maybe it’ll do him some good.”

Klemm has maintained all season that he will start whoever can best help the team, regardless of age or experience. He offered a similar caveat this week: If the Bruins struggle on the edge, and Goines is healthy enough to assist, he’ll likely get the call.

That said, the coach is eager for some familiarity and chemistry in his unit, even if it means working with a trio of first-year players. Right guard Alex Redmond won his starting spot before the season opener, and right tackle Caleb Benenoch has started three games since redshirt sophomore tackle Torian White’s season-ending ankle injury.

The greenest member is left guard Scott Quessenberry, who was redshirting as the team’s No. 2 center until Saturday’s 42-14 loss at Oregon. The brother of NFL sixth-round pick David Quessenberry, Scott looked surprisingly good at the position he had seen briefly in fall camp. Klemm said the 6-foot-3 freshman was mentally ahead of most players his age even back in August, but needed to develop physically.

Strong play from the three freshmen would also creates stability for Xavier Su’a-Filo, who shifted to left tackle in Eugene. While the All-American guard is capable of playing both, he looked a little rusty on the edge against the Ducks. Su’a-Filo started 13 games at left tackle in 2009 and hasn’t complained about a move back.

Still, Klemm would rather the junior perfect one position rather than worry about which spot he’ll man from week to week.

“I’d like him to stay at the same place throughout the season,” Klemm said. “If I feel like there’s a chance he might have to move back, I’ll just leave him at tackle.”

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  • Bruin 34

    Works for me!

  • Bruin12

    Tip of the hat to XSF and Quessenberry. Both are doing a great job adapting to the team’s needs, rather than complaining about 1) looking as good to NFL scouts (XSF), and 2) burning a redshirt year. True Bruins!

  • Allan Wilion

    Klemm is master at ol. Perhaps best at any level. Goines is probably back up at t but mcd is interesting. He had talent. Know all about sshoulder and it requires surgery clean out joint (unlike torn laebrum). Better he get surgery now and be ready next year unless he is backup. Q is stud and solicited line and brendel to reduce bad snaps. Q is chemistry guy. Glue

    • EncinitasBruin

      +1. Having Q in there at LG (as a back-up center) to help JB was huge. No crappy snaps against the Quackers, if I recall.

  • EncinitasBruin

    Quessenberry was player of the game for Bruins, IMO. What a stud to step up, help Brendel make reads, and play way beyond his 18 years. Proud of him as a local kid from La Costa Canyon HS, right around the block from my house. Way to represent San Diegan Bruins, Scott!