Austin Wentworth is not cast to the mold of the prototypical left tackle with a long body and arms and nimble feet, the athleticism of a blind-side pass protector.
At 6-foot-5 and 306 pounds, most think guard, including the Fresno State senior: "Yeah," he said, "me, too."
But UNLV on Saturday will mark the 36th career start for Wentworth, the 34th in a row and the 19th in a row at left tackle, where he might be out of position but definitely is not out of place battling some of the best pass rushers in the Mountain West Conference, all of them intent on doing damage to quarterback Derek Carr.
Last season, Wentworth's first playing left tackle, he was selected first-team all-conference and he has been even better in the Bulldogs' 5-0 start, leading an offensive line that has allowed only three sacks fronting a unit that has racked up 538.0 yards and 47.4 points per game.
"There is a lot of respect for him in our league and the fact that he plays left tackle for us — that's the most coveted position and you better have a guy there," coach Tim DeRuyter said. "For the people in our league to vote him as the No. 1 left tackle, I think is impressive and I think it speaks well of him because at the next level I think he is an inside guy."
How Wentworth has thrived is at the same time complicated and simple. Wentworth played tackle in high school and was recruited as a tackle but made his first career start as a freshman in 2010 at right guard after injuries left the Bulldogs short of linemen.
But fit never was part of the equation.
"I didn't really think I was out of sorts playing tackle, didn't really realize it until I got pretty good at the position and everyone told me, 'You know, you're not really the tackle type,' " Wentworth said.
"I just think I never listened to it. There's never any excuse — you can play any position. It's tough at times. I don't have the longest arms in the conference by any means. I don't have the quickest feet. You just have to block it out. If you make excuses, you're not going to be good at anything. You just have to come out and know it's going to be tough, but know you're going to work at it."
But the bottom line is left tackle is a subset of football player, which, offensive line coach Cameron Norcross said, is where Wentworth excels.
"He's probably one of the smarter kids I've coached. Maybe not the most athletic tackle, but he's one of the best tackles. He's a really good football player," Norcross said. "Just his intelligence on the field, he stands out. He really should be a guard. But the thing with him, he's so smart. He puts himself in great position. He's tough. He's physical. And he competes. I mean, he doesn't like getting beat. He knows the position he has to be in not to get beat, and so he's right there.
"He utilizes what he has to the utmost. Whatever he has, he utilizes it. He doesn't waste any movement. We've got to clean things up because the one thing about him playing tackle, he has to be really technically sound, especially as you get playing against some better ends, he better be as technically sound as he can be to be able to compete with some of the speed off the edge and things like that. But if you look at our game last year at Oregon, he did just fine playing out of position."
The matchup against the Rebels will require a similar effort. UNLV is leading the Mountain West in passing efficiency defense, bringing a variety of blitzes that Carr and the Bulldogs will have to deal with.
But Wentworth has met those challenges every week, 18 in a row and counting.
"Being a left tackle with all that, you're always going to get their best rusher," Wentworth said. "They're always going to put their best guy against you and see if he can get around you. It's a challenge every Saturday and it's awesome, because at the end of the game I can say, 'I shut this guy down. He had nothing on me. He never touched Derek once,' and that's something you have to relish as an O-lineman.
"It's kind of a personal thing. Most people don't even get to see how you play, they just know if you let the quarterback get hit or not. It's a personal challenge and I love it."
The reporter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @rkuwada on Twitter. Read his daily Fresno State updates at fresnobee.com/bulldogs.