University of Arizona spring practice

Coaches are being patient with offensive lineman Michael Eletise, right, because of his immense potential.

Contenders: Christian Boettcher (redshirt junior, 6-2, 290), Michael Eletise (redshirt freshman, 6-3, 318)

Others competing: Alex Kosinski (redshirt sophomore, 6-4, 299)

The past: Boettcher played quite a bit last season, when senior Freddie Tagaloa and then-junior Jacob Alsadek struggled with injuries. Boettcher played in 11 games and made seven starts, with five coming at left guard and two at right guard. Eletise was a four-star recruit in Arizona’s 2016 class, but redshirted as a true freshman.

Where it stands: Boettcher is in the driver’s seat, though Michalczik has indicated he may spell starter Nathan Eldridge by moving Boettcher to center over there on occasion. The move would give Eletise some playing time at left guard.

Coachspeak: “Those are the two that are kind of in the lead. Boettcher’s one of those guys that just keeps working. He’s a bright guy. He’s not the tallest guy, but he’s a thick, really flexible guy. You hate call him an overachiever. He’s a scrapper. He’s made himself a good player. Michael’s so dang powerful.” — Michalczik

He said it: “It’s just: let the best man win. The five best players on the offensive line are going to start, so I gotta work on my technique, and if someone else is working on their technique and being better, then it’s their job. But I need to make sure my technique and the way I work is going is going to be better than everyone else so I can get on that five best, starting offensive line.” — Boettcher