Arizona’s offensive line has the potential to be a consistent unit once again, but there are still some questions now that spring ball is over.
First off, there is the veteran leadership that any coach would want to have on the offensive line.
Jacob Alsadek is likely going to be the best lineman on the team and while he may not wind up being the most vocal guy, Alsadek is the type of player to lead by example.
He played 12 games at right guard last season and there’s no chance anybody is going to come anywhere close to taking his job from him.
Layth Friekh is likely the answer at left tackle again and has plenty of potential. He was a bit inconsistent last season, but one would assume that there has been some improvement and he will be better this upcoming season.
Speaking of potential. Gerhard de Beer has made major strides. When he first arrived to campus, you would have been hard-pressed to find anyone that would have thought he would have played at all, let alone started.
However, due to injuries and his own improvement, De Beer was able to gain a starting job at left guard last season.
De Beer took his snaps at right tackle during the spring, so Tagaloa could get it back once he is healthy or there will be some movement on the offensive line, but either way De Beer is going to play plenty.
Center may have been the worst position on offensive line last season, but not because of blocking.
Make no mistake about it, Cayman Bundage was one of the better blockers on the team. However, his snapping struggles really hurt Arizona at times and with Zach Hemmila seemingly being the guy at center, Arizona is hoping those struggles are gone.
Hemmila isn’t as good of a blocker as Bundage, but it may not matter as long as he can be effective in that area and consistently snap the ball well.
Christian Boettcher worked at left guard in the spring because of Tagalog’s injury. You would think the ideal offensive line wouldn’t have him starting, but Boettcher was good enough to get a close look at did better than we would have thought.
The wildcard in all this could be how well Michael Eletise plays when he comes in, though it is very difficult for a true freshman to come in and play right away.
Also, Keenan Walker is going to make a major push for playing time once he gets in better shape and still has the best physical tools of any lineman.
Jim Michalczik would like to see the offensive line have more depth and the hope is that it will eventually get there, but the line is off to a solid start so far.