BRR offseason outlook: Offensive tackle

There will be two new faces at offensive tackle in 2014, including Zach Sterup - a former Nebraska prep.

BigRedReport.com is going to take a position-by-position look of what we learned about the Huskers from spring practices heading into the bulk of the offseason.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE:

With the gradation of Jeremiah Sirles, Brent Qvale, and Andrew Rodriguez, fresh faces were at the offensive tackle position this spring in Lincoln.

With 12 starts at the University of Colorado, transfer Alex Lewis was expected to jump into first-team left tackle reps right off the bat. The legacy player didn't disappoint – going toe-for-toe with All-Big Ten defensive end Randy Gregory much of the spring. Lewis might be somewhat quieter off the field according to teammates, but has a mean streak on it.

Opposite of Lewis was junior Zach Sterup, who got thrown into the fire multiple times last season with the rash of injuries upfront. When the former St. Cecilia Middle high school star hit Nebraska, he was 265-pounds soaking weight. Three years later, Sterup is 6-foot-9 and near 315-pounds. Sterup had a solid spring and looked like a starting offensive tackle in the Big Ten – just a green one.

If a third offensive tackle was to make a major impact, it would likely be redshirt freshman David Knevel, who the staff feels will be a big-time player down the road. Whether he could be a swing-type offensive lineman and play both sides is unknown by Big Red Report? A former prospect from Canada, it was thought Knevel would need at least a few years to really compete at the D-1 level – it appears his development is a head of schedule. Knevel got a lot of work this spring. Most were second-team reps, but he did from time-to-time jump in against the first-team defense.

The last name to possibly make a push for time in the spring will be junior Matt Finnin, a junior college transfer who is in his second year with the program. Finnin was granted another year of eligibility with a hardship waiver and took most of his reps on the second team this spring.

Joining the group of offensive tackles in the fall will be four-star All-American Nick Gates – one of the most sought after offensive lineman in the 2014 class. Gates is the type of talent who could make noise in the fall, depending on how big of a jump he makes in June, July, and August. While a redshirt year is likely, don't be surprised if he's getting second team reps in the fall. His versatility will allow him to play multiple positions and his film shows a road grader.

Incoming freshman Mick Stoltenberg could play offensive tackle or defensive end.

PROJECTED BRR FALL DEPTH CHART

LT.) Alex Lewis– junior
RT.) Zach Sterup - junior

2LT.) David Knevel – redshirt freshman
2RT.) Matt Finnin – junior


Big Red Report Top Stories