Offensive Line Taking Shape

A little more than halfway through spring practice, Arkansas State offensive line coach Glen Elarbee, who also serves as the team’s co-offensive coordinator, likes what he sees from the Red Wolves’ offensive linemen.

“There is still a lot of competition,’’ he said. “But I really like what I see. I like where we are. We are a tight knit group that understands you have to play hard.”

Elarbee said, going into the final practices of the week, that the line is set at three spots and the team is trying to decide who will grab the final two spots as starters.

“We are down to filling two positions and it comes down to can Steve Stevens hold on to the guard spot. We have Colton Jackson who can play guard or tackle and you have Kyle Harris, who is coming off an injury, at tackle. If Kyle wins the tackle job then Colton moves to guard. Colton will play. It just comes down to what happens with the other guys.

“We had a team meeting this week and we told those guys that is what it is down to. They have Wednesday and Friday to try and earn those jobs. I’d like to have it decided next week so we’d give those guys a week to work together before camp ends.”

Last month OC Walt Bell said one of the team’s major goals was to build the offensive line, one that had depth and was strong enough to establish the running game.

“We are going to start at center and build out,” Bell said.

“That is exactly what our thinking was,’’ said Elarbee. “And I think Devin Mondie has shown he can handle the job. He had a bad day last week but I think he was all excited because that was the first scrimmage.

Mondie went down in the scrimmage Friday and Coach Blake Anderson found the only positive to that situation.

“That gives us an opportunity to shuffle some guys around,’’ he said. “We gotta get (Daniel) Keith and Brandon Berg as lot of snaps at center. Balls have flying all over the place. We gotta contain that.”

Mondie, who started at guard last season, made the move to center this spring and was first in line at that spot. Junior College transfer Berg was signed as a center and Daniel Keith and Kyle Harris worked their last season in reserve roles.

Elarbee said redshirt freshman Daniel Keith has one guard spot down and Jamar Clark, last year’s starter, is one of the tackles.

“We are close to have a true two-deep,’’ said Elarbee. And that is what you want. A lot depends on how Austin Moreton, based on where he was last year, comes back from his injury. You could also have Adam Whalen or Cam Davis in there as well.

“We’d like to have Cam Davis be our Daniel Keith next year. He comes in here in June and we’d like for him to get all of those practice reps in the fall and play if needed. We’d really like to redshirt him. We got that year back for Daniel, who was injured against Tennessee. But we would love for him to get those reps. “

Elarbee said he was also high on incoming freshman Dalton Ford from Webb City, Mo., but his chances of playing are limited because the team is strong at guard.

The Red Wolves have their second scrimmage scheduled for Friday. The spring game is Friday, April 16.