Post Spring Analysis: Offensive Line

This year's offensive line has two factors in their favor that could lead to a fantastic season: they are young and they have Pac-10 experience.

Last year’s plethora of injuries was a bad news—good news situation. There were lots of injuries, but lots of players got valuable PAC-10 game experience. The Beaver front line returns five players, including four starters, who played in at least five games last year.

Injuries took their toll and it took some time for the players to jell. Despite the constant shuffling of the lineup, the big boys only played one bad game, at USC, one of the top teams in the nation.


Kanan Sanchez and Doug Nienhuis anchor the line.

The front line returns five players, including four starters, who played in at least five games last year due an unusually high number of injuries.

The men in black enabled Derek Anderson to break OSU’s single-season passing record in addition to paving the way for Steven Jackson to break the Beavers’ single-season rushing record.

In 2002, the offensive line helped the Beavers set six individual game records, 11 season records, and five team records.

The injuries took their toll as it took some time for the players to jell. Despite the constant shuffling of the lineup, they played only one bad game, at USC, one of the top teams in the nation. I reworded this a little and moved it from here up two paragraphs, it is in green.

Out of the 14 offensive linemen, only four are seniors and out of the seniors, only one is currently starting, left tackle Brain Kilkenny. Senior David Lose and sophomore Jayson Fyda are currently fighting for the starting left guard position.

Three juniors anchor the line, center Matt Brock, right guard Kanan Sanchez, and right tackle Doug Nienhuis.

This spring, under the tutelage of Jim Gilstrap, the big men constantly worked on their footwork and the utilization of their hands.

Gilstrap proved to be a great teacher choosing to encourage and teach, rather than yell at the players.

As a whole, the offensive line is very mobile and aggressive. The players like the active blocking scheme that gives them an opportunity to be the aggressors.

Unlike last year during spring practice, the o-line did not take any lip from the defense. Several times an offensive lineman and defensive player would be in each other’s face. An offensive line with attitude is a valuable weapon.


Jason Fyda and David Lose battled all spring for the left guard position.

Playing experience and an aggressive attitude will be the combination that powers the Beavers to another season of wins, big plays, and record-breaking performances.


BeaverFootball.com’s Offensive Line Rankings
with comments on our top nine

1. Kanan Sanchez, Junior (6-3, 344) – Very aggressive lineman who consistently pancaked a defensive player almost every drill. Moves well for almost being being almost 350 pounds.

2. Brian Kilkenny, Senior (6-5, 294) – Battled injuries last year but looks to rebound and have a sound senior season.

3. Matt Brock, Junior (6-2, 301) – Talented center who solidified his position as the starter. Rarely makes a bad snap and is quick.

4. Doug Nienhuis, Junior (6-6, 299) – Big tackle who does not have the speed or mobility of some of the other offensive lineman. His technique and size make up for his lack of speed.

5. Jason Fyda, Sophomore (6-3, 282) – strong, confident player who overtook Lose’s for the starting role in spring.

6. David Lose, Senior (6-2, 317) – emotional player, will play valuable minutes during the season and has the best hair on the team.

7. Brandon Lockheart, Junior (6-6, 343) – slowing moving, but big. Will take some time for him to adjust to the Pac-10.

8. J.C. Ronnfeldt, Freshman (6-4, 338) – hard working freshman who will compete for a starting position in 2004.

9. Josh Linehan, Freshman (6-4, 279) – learning fast, good footwork, and will compete for a starting role in 2004.

10. Jake Pratt, Sophomore (6-6, 280)

11. Brent Bridges, Junior (6-3, 299)

12. Adam Koets, Freshman (6-6, 275)

13. Matt Davis, Senior (6-5, 302)

14. Jason Haas, Senior (6-5, 285)


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