One dimensional – hat about sums up the offensive line's performance last year. They were superb in pass protection, but struggled blocking for the ground game.
Junior Adam Koets earned the starting left tackle spot with hard work and determination. He was solid in his first full year as a starter although he struggled at times staying in sync with the rest of the line. Senior Chris Miller was expected to compete, and possibly take, a starting spot, but Koets emerged and Miller was relegated to a backup. His role this year will be the same, but he is a decent backup if Koets gets injured.
Junior Josh Linehan is one of the more aggressive linemen on the team. He is also one of the most complete linemen on the team as he can pass and run block effectively. The left side of the line will be set with Linehan and Koets who started all 12 games last year.
The center position is a role that is easily overlooked. Oregon State has had a string of talented centers in Chris Gibson and Matt Brock. The fundamentally sound Kyle DeVan slides into the starting role and is more then capable of providing outstanding play in the middle.
Sophomore Roy Schuening is good and he is only getting better. Despite being just a sophomore he is one of the top lineman on the team and one of the better ones in the conference.
Sophomore Whitfield Usher and junior J.C. Ronnfeldt didn't play a down in 2004 and sat out most of spring and fall camps. Usher was involved with the Headline Café incident and probably will never see the field, not because of the situation at the Headline, but because he is struggling to keep his weight under control.
Ronnfeldt sits at third on the depth chart at left guard and will not overtake
Linehan or redshirt freshman Jeremy Perry. Ronnfeldt is also struggling
keeping his weight in check as he is the largest player on the team sitting at
The new guy(s):
Redshirt freshman Jeremy Perry came to Oregon State from Hawaii with a lot of hype. The 300-pounder lived up to the excitement as some believed he could have played last year as a freshman. He has a difficult task of knocking Linehan out of the starting role, but is talented enough to do it.
Redshirt freshman Adam Speer sits behind DeVan at center and gives the Beavers a solid two-deep rotation. Speer is aggressive and talented and if DeVan goes down, Beaver fans need not worry.
Redshirt freshman Andy Levitre has a challenging task ahead of him as Schuening tops the right guard position. Redshirt freshman Tavita Thompson is another young, aggressive and talented player on the offensive line. He sits atop the depth at right tackle and will stay there when spring practice concludes.
The good news is the offensive line returns three starters and several players with valuable game experience. The left side of the line is solid with Koets and Linehman. Devan and Speers are solid in the middle. The right side isn't looking bad either with Schuening, who could earn post-season honors, returning and the talented Thompson at right tackle.
One problem the Beavers face is finding enough playing time every lineman, which isn't too much of a problem. Perry is tremendously talented and it wouldn't be surprising if he took a starting job. Obviously the coaches will focus on run blocking and having the players jell as a unit. Don't be surprised to see the coaches move players from guard to tackle and back to find the best mix.
At the very least the orange and black offensive line is young, aggressive
and competitive. By the conclusion of spring camp the Beavers will be
two-deep at every position. A good offensive line wins lots of ball games.
One to watch:
Left guard Jeremy Perry. Talented, aggressive and ready to contribute. The veterans will have to stay on their toes as Perry will push them for a starting role.
- LT: Adam Koets (6-6, 291) – junior, solid first year as a starter
- LT: Chris Miller (6-5, 299) – senior, solid backup
- LG: Josh Linehan (6-5, 295) – junior, big and mobile
- LG: Jeremy Perry (6-2, 305) – redshirt freshman, young, talented and hungry
- LG: J.C. Ronnfeldt (6-4, 361) – junior, trouble with weight
- C: Kyle DeVan (6-2, 300) – sophomore, another talented center at OSU
- C: Adam Speer (6-3, 275) – redshirt freshman, solid backup who will compete for starting role
- RG: Roy Schuening (6-4, 317) – sophomore, perhaps the most talented lineman on the team
- RG: Andy Levitre (6-3, 326) – redshirt freshman, will have to wait before getting playing time
- RT: Tavita Thompson (6-6, 299) – redshirt freshman, could be All-Pac-10 material
- RT: Whitfield Usher (6-3, 329) – sophomore, won't see playing time, having
trouble with his weight
Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Offensive Line