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Three Burning Questions for Oklahoma State’s Offensive Line Group

How does a truncated spring affect OSU’s young linemen?



I’ve taken a probing look at Oklahoma State’s quarterback, wide receiver and running back groups heading into 2020. Now it’s time to turn my eye to the men in the trenches that facilitate all the flashy plays those above-mentioned headliners get credit for.

I’ve got three questions for this 2020 OL group, starting with the toughest.

1. How Do You Replace Johnny Wilson and Marcus Keyes?

OSU will be without the two most consistent members of its offensive line from the last three-plus years. Wilson has been a mainstay at center since 2017 and Keyes was the guy at left guard for all four of his seasons in Stillwater. The pair combine to rob 74 starts worth of experience from OSU’s trenches.

Wilson’s vacated role at center will likely fall to Ry Schneider who boasts six career starts in the Cowboys’ interior O-line. For Keyes’ loss, the Cowboys may look to a newcomer.

The Cowboys received aid by way of the transfer portal when former West Virginia guard Josh Sills made the move to Stillwater and became immediately eligible. Sills was a two-year starter for the Mountaineers before a shoulder injury ended his 2019 season in September. He’s not only a candidate to replace Keyes in 2020, he’s also eligible to apply for a medical hardship waiver for 2019 which, if granted, would award him another year of qualification past 2020.

2. How Much Does a Shortened Spring Hurt the O-line?

This question applies to every position group and extends to every school to some degree or another, but it might affect the Cowboys’ line more than you think.

OSU has a handful of linemen that appear ready to step forward and vie for snaps up front like Hunter Anthony, Tyrese Williams, Jacob Farrell and Hunter Woodard among others. But those less-experienced linemen — as well as any early 2020 enrollees — will be shorted precious spring practice reps thanks to a global pandemic.

OSU does return several linemen with starting experience (see below) but with the above-named exits, the coaching staff is in for some shuffling of bodies.

Teven Jenkins (R. Sr.) — 28 starts
Dylan Galloway (R. Sr.) — 14 starts
Bryce Bray (R. So.) — 10 starts
Ry Schneider (R. Sr.)  — 6 starts
Hunter Anthony (R. So.) — 4 starts

Like I said, all schools will be dealing with this issue at least at some positions, but with so much riding on 2020 and the line being such a crucial part of that success, let’s just hope the group can hit the ground running and stay healthy.

3. Will Teven Jenkins Transition from Solid Starter to Star?

There has been plenty of offseason buzz surrounding returning starter Teven Jenkins, especially after ProFootballFocus tabbed him as the top returning Big 12 tackle. After back-to-back honorable mentions, can Jenkins elevate his game to a first-team level?

Here’s an interesting fact. During Mike Gundy’s 15 seasons, he’s had 12 offensive linemen named to an All-Big 12 first team. He’s only had multiple linemen earn that honor twice — two in 2011 and three in 2017. Those seasons just so happen to coincide with the two best offenses Gundy ever coached.

Was it the talent in the trenches that paved the way or the future draft picks behind it that made those offenses so potent? I think you have to say that both share the credit, but can what about this fall?

The 2020 Cowboys boast a Big 3 of similar ilk to the ones that lit up the Big 12 in 2011 and 2017. But do they have the high-end linemen to facilitate similar success? I don’t know if OSU has two first-teamers up front. Maybe you throw Dylan Galloway in the running if he and OSU have a big year. But if Jenkins can live up to his recent hype, it will go a long way.


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