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Tom Miller / Forum Communications Co., Published November 02 2012

UND’s McGurran a constant staple on the offensive line

Grand Forks

As a freshman in 2009, University of North Dakota center Ian McGurran walked onto the field in Lubbock, Texas, as he prepared to face Texas Tech of the Big 12.

How intimidating was the moment? The last time McGurran played in a game his Fargo North Spartans were taking on the Wahpeton Huskies.

“That feels like a while ago, but I remember being really nervous before the game,” McGurran said.

McGurran started that game in Texas and hasn’t missed a start since.

McGurran will start his 43rd consecutive game Saturday afternoon when UND hosts Southern Utah at the Alerus Center.

“Ian brings physical and mental toughness,” UND coach Chris Mussman said. “We need more guys like that. Some of our success offensively is because of that attitude. That’s Ian in a nutshell. He’s played a lot of ball, so I only have to tell him things once. Then he goes out and performs.”

McGurran’s Iron Man streak is especially impressive considering his offensive line position. This year alone, McGurran is the only offensive lineman to start all nine games.

McGurran stands alone in reliability. The next longest consecutive-start streak for the Green and White is 20 games from left tackle Darren Deneui, who is now out for the season after suffering an injury last week against Montana State.

The only UND player anywhere near McGurran for total career starts is defensive end Ross Brenneman, who has 36 career starts. Brenneman, however, has missed the last few games with a leg injury.

“I definitely feel fortunate,” McGurran said. “I feel lucky to play early in my career and fortunate to be healthy and keep playing.”

McGurran was named team captain prior to the season. His father, who played center at UND from 1980-82, also was a team captain.

“It was a dream of mine to play here,” McGurran said.

Miller writes for the Grand Forks Herald