Post Spring Breakdown: Offensive Line

Who will be the five starting offensive linemen for Iowa State be when they kick off their season against South Dakota State in late August? According to Offensive Coordinator Robert McFarland, outstanding spring practices by numerous players has led to that decision becoming a lot tougher.

"We've now got some answers if someone isn't getting the job done. Last year most of our offensive lineman had not started and really had little experience," he said. "In fact, only one or two had ever stepped on a college football field. They gained a lot of confidence and now they understand what Big 12 football is all about."

According to McFarland, the one player who had the most impressive spring was Ben Lamaak. "Whether he ends up at guard or tackle, he was the one guy during the spring that almost guaranteed himself a spot in the starting line-up. He just really answered the challenge."

McFarland feels that at the moment, Lamaak and Kelechi Osemele would probably be the starters at guard if the season started today. "They really stepped it up but Reggie (Stephens), Joe (Blaes), and Brandon Johnson also played well and will likely challenge them when the fall rolls around."

Johnson was the starter at center last year but the position changed dramatically during the spring session. "Mike Knapp really stepped up and I just think that this past year really helped him become a lot more comfortable," he said. "Right now he is definitely our starting center with Alex Alvarez pushing him as the back-up."

At the tackle position, McFarland also was able to name two likely starters but added that the competition should continue to be fierce. "I would say right now that Doug Dedrick and Matt Hulbert are probably the starters but Trey Baysinger really had a solid spring and he will definitely challenge for playing time in the fall."

He also feels that one incoming freshman could jump into the mix at tackle. "We're really high on Scott Haughton who goes about 6-foot-6, 330-pounds," said McFarland. "He looks like he's been playing at this level for a while. There's definitely a chance that he could compete this year as a freshman."


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