One of the most improved units for the Bears in 2014 was the offensive line, boasting an 1,100 yard rusher in junior running back Daniel Lasco, while being amongst the league leaders in sack percentage per pass.
And within the most improved unit on the team is perhaps the most-improved player on the offensive line, redshirt sophomore offensive tackle Vinnie Johnson.
Early last season, previous offensive line coach Zach Yenser referred to Johnson as "the future of the offensive line" due to his combinatoin of size, athleticism and quick feet.†
Though Johnson didn't play much as a redshirt soph, with former right tackle Jordan Rigsbee moving back inside and right tackle Steven Moore out for the spring recuperating from a shoulder injury, the path has been cleared for Johnson to compete to start in 2015.
"The reps -it's making all the difference in the world," said Johnson. "Just getting so many opportunities to play and just get experience this spring is huge.
"Coach Yenser was a great coach and Coach (Brandon) Jones has really helped me to develop more.
"It's just a great opportunity for me to compete and be one of the guys who can help us win games and get to a bowl game or even a national championship.
"Our goals are really high. We went from one win to five wins -that's four more wins- but our goals are much higher than that. We're not looking for just the Cactus Bowl or something like that. We want to compete and be a part of something special this year.
"We really have the talent to do it. We're more discipline, more experienced. The defense is going to be better. The offense is going to be better. It's a really big opportunity for us as a team and I'm really really excited to be a part of it."†
To see Johnson's comments in full, use the embedded viewer below: