Bears Move Brandon Ludwig to Center

April 6, 2001

Berkeley, CA - Head coach Tom Holmoe announced Friday that senior Brandon Ludwig has been moved from offensive guard, where he earned second team All-Pac-10 honors last season, to the starting center position.

Ludwig is one of four returning starters along a Cal offensive line that is expected to be among the best groups in the Pac-10 this fall. He has started 22 games in his career, including nine last year, at left guard.

The 6-4, 290-pounder from Groveland HS in Sonora is regarded as a strong honors candidate this season and a potential high draft choice next spring. He fills a position that was shared last year between Marvin Philip, Reed Diehl and Nolan Bluntzer. Philip has departed for a two-year Mormon mission, while Diehl has graduated. Bluntzer, a sophomore, began this spring as the heir apparent for the starting center position, but will now move to guard where he will compete for starting duties.

'We feel like Brandon will give us the experience and talent to be the cornerstone of an offensive line that will be one of our real strengths this season,' said head coach Tom Holmoe. 'He now can influence play on both sides of the line, instead of just the left side. It will be much easier for us to develop a guard than to go with an inexperienced player at the center position.'

Ludwig had been taking occasional repetitions at the center position in earlier practices this spring, but the move was made permanent on Wednesday of this week. He'll be backed up by junior Ryan Jones. Bluntzer will compete with Nick Shaeffer, Baron Ma and David Hays for starting duties at the guard position.

Ludwig said he was looking forward to the challenge of the new position. 'I was surprised when Coach (Ed) White came to me on Wednesday and said I was going to be the center in our starting line-up, because I've never taken a snap at center in my career,' said Ludwig. 'I was a tight end and linebacker in high school and I've played just tackle and guard here at Cal. It's a big change, but I'm going to try to make myself a great center.

'I'm not moving over to just be a good center. I need to become a great center. This is a good move for the team, but I'm going to also make it a good move for me and my future. It can show the NFL guys that I have the versatility to play a number of positions. The main thing is helping us win some football games this fall. We're all excited about the way our offensive line and the offense in whole is playing. We can't wait to get things rolling this fall.'

Cal has just over two more weeks of spring practice remaining. The spring drills will wrap up with the annual Blue-Gold spring scrimmage in Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 21 at 10:00 a.m.

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