I've been wanting to write another "Where are they now?" for awhile, but just haven't gotten around to it.
To date, all of our Where are they now? features have involved athletes that have made a living in the world of sports, either as a player (Jason Fife, Kenny Wheaton, and A.D. Smith), or in the world of coaching (Julius Hicks). This makes sense, as these were usually both the best and most popular players, and also the easiest to find information on. However, today I want to focus on a player who was vitally critical to Duck success, yet gets very little credit for it.
Josh Line :: Football :: Fullback :: 2000-01
Josh Line was the starting fullback on two of the most successful teams in school history. His best season statistically was 2001, when he had three carries for ten yards, and seven receptions for 76 yards and two scores. He's the kind of player you easily forget, because you don't see him making lots of big plays with the football. Like an offensive lineman, you usually don't really notice a fullback unless they mess up. But messing up was something that Line did very little of in '01. You remember that the Ducks had two 1,000 yard rushers that year, but you forget that, with Line blocking for them, they don't experience that success. Josh Line played a vital role on that Fiesta Bowl team.
Like many others, I, too, had forgotten about Line after the 2001 season. He graduated, and wasn't in the pros, and those players, unless a QB, RB, or WR, often fade from your memory. But then when I went to graduate school at the UO College of Education, I was given a reminder about Josh. We were going into classrooms for the first time as teachers, and they were having us watch videos of student teachers from previous years. Who was the first person we watched a video of but Josh Line, who did his student teaching at Willamette High School.
Today, Line teaches social studies and is an assistant football coach at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay. But I use his story to remind everybody of something important. With all the talk about facilities and recruiting, and with all the guys we see going to the pros, its easy to forget that most of the athletes in college are students just like we were. They don't have a pro career ahead of them-they have to graduate and get jobs, just like we do. For every Joey Harrington, there are five Josh Lines. And they are just as critical to the team's success as the five star recruits are. Lets try not to forget all that the blue collar guys do to make this team work.