Post-Spring Analysis: OL

The Hurricanes finished spring football recently, and now will begin preparing for summer workouts. Lets take a closer look at the team coming out of spring, focusing on the offensive line in this update.

The Hurricanes started spring football with 13 offensive linemen on scholarship. Unfortunately, three of them -- all of whom were starters last season -- missed all of spring while recovering from injuries. That gave a big opportunity to some of the younger players.

Ereck Flowers, who started several games at right tackle last season as a true freshman, had a very good spring and emerged as the starter at left tackle. He was given a chance to be the guy on the left side, and proved he was more than capable of protecting the backside of Stephen Morris.

Seantrel Henderson, who was very inconsistent last season with his injuries and work ethic, emerged as one of the most improved players on the team this spring. Now a senior with an NFL skillset, Henderson was given a chance to win the starting right tackle job and he did just that.

Malcolm Bunche, a junior who was the team's starting left tackle last season, was given a chance to play inside with the injuries to Brandon Linder and Jonathan Feliciano. He was able to make the most of the opportunity, and turned in a very good spring. His performance was strong enough that he's now listed ahead of Feliciano as the starter at left guard. Bunche is also the primary backup to Flowers at left tackle. He provides a lot of versatility and experience.

Shane McDermott was the team's starting center all last season but was forced to miss the spring with an injury. That enabled senior Jared Wheeler to show the coaches what he's capable of doing with the starting unit. He was good enough to be now listed as the co-starter with McDermott. Wheeler, who can also play guard, will likely start the fall behind McDermott but it's encouraging to know that he's closed the gap between he and McDermott, who is expected to be one of the top centers in the conference this season.

With Linder out at right guard, the coaches gave sophomore Danny Isidora a chance to showcase his skills. He turned in a strong spring. While it wasn't enough to catch the All-ACC guard at the top of the depth chart, he gives the coaches another legitimate rotation option.

A pair of young players -- redshirt freshman Taylor Gadbois and true freshman Sunny Odogwu -- were given plenty of chances this spring and were very solid. Gadbois is in the rotation now at left tackle playing behind Flowers. Odogwu, who has tremendous leadership qualities for such a young player, earned a spot in the rotation at right tackle. He is listed behind Henderson there.

The three scholarship players who are not listed on the depth chart right now are sophomore Hunter Wells, redshirt freshman Jacoby Briscoe (a converted defensive tackle), and freshman Hunter Knighton.

This group was a strength last season, and should be again this season. There are seven players with starting experience and three others who proved this spring that they're ready to become part of the rotation at some point. This is the deepest the offensive line has been since Al Golden took over here a few years ago.


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