EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS-TV) – Michigan State’s football team wrapped up its 12th practice of fall camp on Wednesday and another position group garnering a lot of attention is the one led by offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic.
Similiar to the defensive line MSU’s o-line is significantly bigger. All but three o-linemen are 300-plus pounds this year and many of them come back with a lot of starting experience.
Especially center Nick Samac who Kapilovic believes is going to be ready to go on Sept. 1 for the season opener against Central Michigan at Spartan Stadium.
The redshirt senior who weighs in at 305 pounds and stands tall at 6-foot-4 is the rock of the offensive line. A unit which was depleted by injuries a season ago. As a result, Samac started all 12 games at center last season for the Spartans while he’s on track to do the same this year, he may not be carrying quite the load as he did last year. Samac played an offensive-high 803 snaps.
“I learned a lesson my first year at North Carolina,” said Kapilovic. “I lost three centers in one week and I always thought four centers would be enough, and we’d be in good shape, so after that I’ve had eight to ten kids snapping year-round.”
Ever since Kapilovic arrived in East Lansing to be a part of Mel Tucker’s staff in 2020 he’s been preaching how consistency is key on the offensive line and in year four he believes its finally starting to set in.
“We have more options this year, by far, than we had last year or my first year here,” said Kapilovic.
When looking at the Spartans depth on the o-line in 2023 East Lansing alum Ethan Boyd could have a larger role this season and he is definitely one of the Kapilovic’s “options” at right tackle.
“Ethan Boyd is breathing down Spencer Brown’s neck,” said Kapilovic. “So again, now he’s pushing him. So, right now we have four tackles and even an Ashton Lepo who’s doing some things where they’re really competing with each other.”
In 2022 as a redshirt freshman, Boyd took 23 snaps at tackle on offense, including a season-high 15 versus Akron in Week 2.
This year he’s expected to see the field as early as the season opener against CMU and it has to do with his demeanor.
“He has an edge to him, and it shows up once in a while,” said Kapilovic. It’s starting to show up more and the number one thing with Ethan Boyd is confidence. When he’s confident he’s very good.”
Boyd attributes his newfound confidence to two things. The weight room and studying the scheme.
It’s all coming at a good time as well with his little brother coming to town on Sept. 1 with CMU.
Evan Boyd, who also played for Bill Feraco at East Lansing, is a freshman wide receiver for the Chippewas and definitely isn’t backing down to his big bro.
“Evan is confident that is for sure,” said Ethan. “I admire him for that.”