One of the challenges the Albany State Golden Rams have early this football season is running an offense where the linemen are not experienced. ASU lost most of the offensive line from a year ago, but now one of the anchors and leaders of that new offensive line is Albany’s Raymond Thomas.
“We are working to have great communication with each other and to form a brotherhood among us,” Thomas said recently in an interview before the season started. “The team is only as strong as the line.”
While the Rams lost the season-opener to Valdosta State 38-3, head coach Gabe Giardina did see moments of really good play by the offense. He especially pointed to running back Tracy Scott and offensive lineman Elshondric Buchanan.
“Everything is starting to come together,” said Thomas. “We are getting the scheme down and talking to to each other and starting to trust each other. We are taking it one day at a time and one game at a time. We are trying to focus on each play, each quarter and each game.”
Thomas is a senior criminal justice major from Albany that played high school football at Monroe High School under Coach Charles Truitt. He is still working to get better each day.
“I am working on my technique and working on my speed and strength. Things are way faster now than when I played at Monroe. When I was in high school, I was on the outside looking in at Albany State, now I am on the inside looking out. It is great to have hometown support for our team.”
The Golden Rams will get their second opportunity of the season Saturday night when they travel to Clinton, Miss to face the Choctaws of Mississippi College. Coach Giardina said the offensive plays will be even more crucial in the second game because they will have fewer opportunities to run the offense.
“When a team plays the option, they try to grind you down. Will all their plays you have less opportunity for your offense,” the coach said. “So those plays we do get on offense have to be good.”