Another Look: OL and DL

The BYU game is just days away and for the most part the Wildcat football team is shaping up. The depth chart is set and most of the position battles are over, at least for the first game. We'll take a look at what has been settled, what is close to being settled and what is still up in the air. Today we look at the offensive and defensive lines.


What We Know:
*Peter Graniello, Adam Hawes, Erick Levitre, Joe Longacre and Eben Britton will get the start against BYU.

*Graniello, Hawes, Levitre and Daniel Borg were among offensive linemen to lose time in fall camp to injuries.

*Other than Adam Grant, no lineman is injured heading into the BYU game. Grant is out for the year.

*Levitre, Blake Kerley and Colin Baxter all worked at center in fall camp.

What We Don't Know:
*Can the group stay healthy? Last year there were a lot of injuries and there was a lot of dinged up players in fall camp.

*Can they establish the run? Last year they were very good at pass blocking, but struggled to open up holes for the running backs.

*Can guys live up to the hype? Guys like Adam Hawes and Eben Britton came in with big reputations, but have yet to showcase themselves. Britton redshirted, while Hawes was inconsistent last season.

What We Think:
*The offensive line will be improved, helping the running game to take pressure off of Willie Tuitama.

*Eben Britton will be among the top offensive linemen in the league. He will be All-Pac-10 within the next few seasons.

*Daniel Borg, Tanner Bell, Kerley and Bill Wacholz will all see extended action this year and most will start at least a game or two.

*All of the true freshmen will redshirt, as will JC transfer James Tretheway.

What We Know:
*For the first time in nearly a decade, the Cats have depth up front on defense.

*Lionel Dotson and Johnathan Turner had great camps, but did not grab the headlines.

*Louis Holmes has speed like no other end since, maybe, Tedy Bruschi.

What We Don't Know:
*Can Louis Holmes adjust to D-I ball and live up to the hype. The 5-star end has a lot of pressure on his shoulders. He has all the physical tools, but can he meet the expectations of the fans and media?

*Can Paul Phillipp stay healthy? The senior missed another spring and his shoulder is always a concern.

*Can the defensive line give up size? The interior line lacks bulk, but they have plenty of speed and strength. Can athleticism prevail over size?

*Can Marcus Smith make the best of his opportunity? Smith received a medical redshirt and now has one more year to impress NFL scouts and get to a bowl game.

*Will Gabe Long get cleared to play?

What We Think:
*Holmes may no meet the expectations of some of the fans, but he will lead the Wildcats in sacks and do things Wildcat fans have not seen in years.

*Dotson will have a breakout year in the middle and Donald Horton will be a pleasant surprise.

*Yaniv Barnett will fail to get the headlines, but will have yet another solid year as a run stopper.

*Long will get into school, but won't be a factor until after the USC game.

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