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FHSU O-line getting some help

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Since the first day of camp, junior transfer lineman Tomasi Molesi has been a vocal presence for the Fort Hays State University football team. However, Molesi, then a defensive lineman, suffered a leg injury in the first couple days of camp. Molesi, from Arizona Western College, often rode around a scooter that supported his leg, but still continually yelled out encouragement.

"It's hard to do," coach Chris Brown said. "Guys just tend to look at you, 'Well, you are on the sideline.' But he is that kid, when he is on the field, people look up to him and they see how hard he plays and that steps up the level for other players."

When the Tigers started to have injury problems on the offensive line, Molesi went to Brown and said he was willing to move from defense to offense -- a rare move for a defensive lineman.

"It was kind of his idea," Brown said in the team's weekly news conference Tuesday. "He was one of those kids who saw that we had injuries on offense. He was injured as well. He told me, 'When I come back, I want to be on the offensive line.' I was planning on moving you anyway. It's good that you have that attitude."

Molesi practiced Tuesday and Brown said he "looked pretty good."

"Great leader, works hard," Brown said. "Communicates very well on the O-line. Just from being his first day out there, his communication skills are awesome. It really improves our O-line with just the way he talks and communicates with our players."

On Saturday, Molesi will start at left guard for the 0-4 Tigers in the 7 p.m. homecoming game against William Jewell (Mo.) College at Lewis Field Stadium.

"It's big that Tomasi plays offense," junior running back Edward Smith said. "He just brings that charisma to everybody. He is that offensive player, but he is still into that defense. He still tries and helps everybody. No matter what he can do to help, he will do it. I feel like he is going to give 110 percent."

The Cardinals are 1-3. This is the first matchup between FHSU and William Jewell in school annals.

"More excitement, more enthusiasm," Brown said. "He gets those players pumped up."

Redshirt freshman Jordan McDonald had played left guard the last couple games and Brown was pleased with his play. McDonald is expected to see some snaps. Brown said sophomore starting guard Jarred Stindt (knee) is out another week, maybe two with an injury suffered in Week 2 at Washburn University.

"We are going to work those two in and out and they can play both sides of the ball, left guard and right guard," Brown said. "So it gives our guys a little bit of a break as well."