EVANSTON — After spending the vast majority of spring practice and offseason workouts learning the tackle position, Geoff Mogus appears to be set for a definitive position switch that will have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the line.
Mogus, an offensive guard since his sophomore year of high school, has been taking nearly every rep at left tackle so far in fall camp, and based on his offseason work, it appears that's where Northwestern is planning to use him this season.
Mogus's move to tackle has opened up the left guard spot, which, according to Mogus, is in the hands of Ian Park at the moment. Park had been competing with Brad North for the starting center job, and still has been taking reps with the second-team offense at center, but has been with the first team at guard. North appears to be the starter at center.
At right guard, another vacancy opened up over the offseason. Senior Matt Frazier had a staph infection over the summer, and while, according to head coach Pat Fitzgerald, Frazier has gained most of his weight back, there is no timetable for his return.
That has left the first-team right guard spot to senior Shane Mertz, who is moving in the opposite direction of Mogus, from tackle to guard. Mertz's 6-foot-8 frame would seem to be more suited to the tackle position, but he appears to be in line to start at right guard against Stanford.
At right tackle, according to Mogus, junior Eric Olson has been running with the first team. Redshirt freshman Blake Hance has been the second-team right tackle, while classmate Tommy Doles has been the second-team left tackle.
Things can change between now and the start of the season of course, but if Northwestern were to take the field tomorrow, it would appear that the starting offensive line would be, from left to right, Mogus, Park, North, Mertz, and Olson.
A full Q&A with Mogus — on the transition to tackle, its effect on his NFL aspirations, and some offensive line superlatives — is coming on Friday.