USU football: Senior offensive linemen take pride in perfecting their craft on the field

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 17 2013 3:47 p.m. MDT

Whimpey has played side by side with his twin brother Kevin, also a USU offensive lineman, since childhood. Larsen, Markosian and Whimpey are Utah natives, while Schultz came to Utah State from Washington. Larsen and Whimpey are married, with a daughter thrown into the mix for Whimpey. Schultz and Whimpey served missions for the LDS Church before their time at USU began. With that, Whimpey began his collegiate career at Idaho State before transferring to play for former head coach Gary Andersen.

“It comes with a lot of effort, a lot of making things work, a lot of understanding each other’s personalities, how we think and operate,” Markosian said. “Everyone is different. It’s a special thing. We all bond together and understand each other. We’re five guys doing one thing.”

With all their differing backgrounds and stories, so much of being a part of Aggie football is moving forward with the same goals and desires. As a group, each member wants to do everything he can to become a part of the best line in the nation.

“I don’t think this is a lofty goal. I want to be the best group in the nation. I think we can,” Whimpey said. “We may not be the most talented or the most this or the most that, but we’re a confident group. We’re tight-knit and that’s why we can be the best. It’s just a continuation of what we’ve been doing, grinding on the field every day.”

Larsen echoed that sentiment.

“We want to be the best in the nation,” he said. “I think we have the talent and strengths to do that.”

The team goal is no secret. As first-year Mountain West Conference members, the guys have a lot to prove. To them, the ultimate proof lies in a championship.

“I want to show that we can come into this league and be effective and productive,” Markosian said. “I want to show that we can hang with the big guys.”

While each lineman hopes to see this season end with their name being called by an NFL team, the future is bright no matter where they end up.

Schultz graduated last May with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and is currently taking additional undergraduate classes. He plans on pursuing a master’s degree whenever his football career ends. Markosian will graduate in May with a civil engineering degree, a career he plans to pursue. Whimpey will graduate with an interdisciplinary studies degree, and while his post-football plan isn’t set in stone, he plans to do whatever it takes to provide for his family. Larsen sees himself in the classroom for the long haul, with hopes of becoming an English and physical education teacher. He too will graduate from USU this fall with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.

However, there is a backup plan among the line, a career that would keep their protective instincts sharp.

“If that doesn’t end up working out, we want to be in the Logan Police Department,” Larsen said. “We can go from protecting Chuckie to protecting the community that loves us.”

The seniors of the Aggie offensive line take their position seriously. They have a chemistry that leads to an indisputable success on the field. As one of the many lines in the nation, they have confidence and motivation to be the best they can be. As they move forward through their final season together, they hope to see continued improvement as they face opposing defenses and protect the men behind them.

“I take pride in getting the job done. I take pride in being the best I can be and doing the best for everyone and the team. It’s a huge responsibility, but we have the ability to do that,” Schultz said. “We don’t get a lot of glory, but it’s the pride of the offense moving. As a brotherhood, it keeps you going. You’re playing for the guy next to you.”

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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