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Spring Retrospective: Offensive Line Now Set



Once a question mark within the program less than a year ago, OSU’s offensive line is now one of its more trusted positions. Here is a look at where we stand heading into the summer and beyond.


New offensive line coach Josh Henson steps into the position with some momentum on his side and a big recruiting stick he’s apparently not afraid to wield.

His offensive line, which returns everyone except Victor Salako, paved the way for OSU to run for 4.52 yards per carry in 2016 which was No. 60 nationally. HowEVAH … in its last six games, OSU ran for 5.47 yards per carry which would have been inside the top 20 nationally. This was a different unit from the first half of the year to the second.

There seems to be a bit of a renewed energy around the program, too, with the addition of Henson.

“It’s pretty different, but I still feel like we definitely are all bonding together and with him, his style of coaching and his approach to the game,” said starting right guard Larry Williams. “I really feel like it’s really beneficial for us because he brings a different attitude to it than we’ve had before.”

Henson noted in the middle of the spring that the line was getting better but was not where he wanted it to be.

“It’s not as consistent as we want from a finishing standpoint,” Henson told Go Pokes. “But we’re getting back good effort, and I’m getting back a lot of questions. When you’re getting those things as a coach, you know their minds are turned on to learning football and learning about their craft. From that standpoint I feel like they’re very engaged.”

It’s going to be interesting to see if the line can carry over the juice it got going at the end of 2016 in front of Justice Hill. Mason Rudolph was still sacked 32 times (not great!). That needs to improve, as well.

“I think we feel like we’re getting more aggressive because that’s something Coach Henson harps about to us all the time,” added Williams. “He wants us to be physical and bring our A-game.

“Getting better with our technique is also helping us to be more physical, because as long as you’re good with your technique, you can then go and be more physical. That’s one that we focus on a lot.”

As Henson pointed out, OSU’s embarrassment of riches at skill positions could make his unit’s job easier, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to lay back.

“When you’re an offensive lineman and you only have to pass protect one time and it goes 80 yards for a touchdown, that’s pretty nice, as opposed to having drop back 10 times,” said Henson. “It’s a pretty good deal for us to have so many great skill players, but it’s our job to make it easier for them too.”

There was little to glean from the spring game as the core of the linemen were split up between the two teams, but receiver Chris Lacy was at least pleased with the effort (he had two catches for 61 yards).

“Our offensive line was out there doing a great job blocking and Mason (Rudolph) made a lot of solid passes,” Lacy said. “I was just trying to go out there and do what I do best, which is making big plays.”

Biggest News

Obviously, the biggest news out of the spring is Cal transfer Aaron Cochran hitting Stillwater and replacing all 152 kilograms of Victor Salako at left tackle. I’m sure Mason Rudolph and his future agent sleep better at night because of this news.

Projected Two Deep

The starters are effectively set. Cochran-Keyes-Lundblade-Williams-Crabtree, and that won’t change barring an injury.

The backups are all over the board. Any number of combinations could be used in second spots for guys like Arlington Hambright, Dylan Galloway and Matt Kegel.

Mike Gundy has said he would love to see hockey-like line changes from the offensive linemen in 2017 so you’re likely to see a lot of these backups plugged into different positions based on who’s injured and who needs a breather.

LT1 Aaron Cochran R-Sr.
LT2 Dylan Galloway -OR- Arlington Hambright R-Fr. and Jr.
LG1 Marcus Keyes R-Soph.
LG2 Arlington Hambright -OR- Deionte Noel Jr. and R-Jr.
C1 Brad Lundblade Sr.
C2 Johnny Wilson R-Soph.
RG1 Larry Williams R-Sr.
RG2 Lemaefe Galea’i -OR- Matt Kegel R-Jr. and R-Fr.
RT1 Zach Crabtree R-Sr.
RT2 Shane Richards  -OR- Teven Jenkins Sr. and R-Fr.


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