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Top Huskies For 2013 — No. 8: Ben Riva

Injuries plagued Washington's offensive line in 2012, and Ben Riva was no exception. But when he was healthy he showed that there's at least one reason to be optimistic going forward.

Otto Greule Jr

Ben Riva was the Huskies' best offensive lineman last season. This is not a high compliment. It's important to note, however, that Riva was not the best because he was the best bum playing in a group of bums (although, yeah, that's a pretty good descriptor of the group), he was the best lineman because he was legitimately good.

There's no doubt that the offensive line was a mess last season, but whether that was an injury issue, due to a lack of talent, or because of poor coaching Riva represents a glimmer of hope. He was representative of all the best and worst things of UW's line in 2012. He was injured and missed nearly half the season. The team relied heavily on him though he was just a sophomore. When he went down to injury there really wasn't a capable backup. But when he did play, he was more than capable. He gained a lot of experience as an underclassman. He's part of a group that returns a ton of starts on the offensive line.

How the offensive line as a whole performs in 2013 is anybody's guess. The questions and frustrations that were present in 2012 will be there in 2013 until proven otherwise. How do Erik Kohler and Colin Tanigawa return from their injuries? What new injuries arise? Will the players develop? Will they be put into position to succeed by the coaching staff? But with all of these questions, Ben Riva should a constant on UW's offensive line in 2013.

And anybody who does this is OK in my book.