It's no surprise that the fortunes of the Bowling Green Falcon football program have improved dramatically since Alex Huettel was inserted into the starting line-up as a redshirt freshman in 2012. He started out at center and then switched to guard his sophomore season. He has been the anchor along the offensive line for the Falcons the last three years.
And oh by the way, during those three years the Falcons have won a Mid-American Conference championship, two straight east division MAC championships, and have gone to three consecutive bowl games. The Falcons are 26-15 in that stretch, good for a 65 percent winning percentage. Just to put that into perspective, the Falcons were just 14-23 (38%) in the three years prior to Huettel's insertion into the starting line-up.
Huettel goes into his senior season having started 41 consecutive games for the Falcons. The 6'4", 300 pounder from Pickerington High School in Ohio has been the model of consistency. He has been named to the 2015 Rotary Lombardi Award watch list, and was named to the preseason all-MAC first team by Phil Steele and Athlon Sports.
Last year, head coach Dino Babers brought in a fast-paced offensive scheme that relies on his offensive lineman keeping up. Huettel didn't miss a beat and was named second team All-MAC for the second consecutive year. He led a Falcon offensive line that that helped scored 30 points per game, 6,061 yards of total offense, and averaged 432.9 yards per game.
The Falcons are loaded on offense again this year as 10 starters return, including all five starting lineman. The media and coaches have listed the Falcons as favorites to win the MAC east again this year and advance to Detroit for the MAC Championship Game for the third consecutive year. They have a tough non-conference schedule before hitting MAC play, which includes the likes of Tennessee, Maryland, Memphis and Purdue.
That non-conference schedule against three Power-5 conference opponents should give Huettel a chance to show the pro scouts something. Another solid season should give him a good shot at being drafted next spring. His size, reliability and the ability to play several positions along the line make him desirable.
If he does make it to an NFL roster, he'll be continuing a legacy of recent pro success by Bowling Green offensive lineman. Former Falcons Scott Mruczkowski (2005 draft) played seven season for the San Diego Chargers, and Kory Lichtensteiger (2008 draft) of the Washington Redskins is currently starting his eighth NFL season.
But for right now, Huettel will just be enjoying his senior season and trying to the Falcons back to Ford Field.