Depth chart beginning of April:
LT: Adam Koets, Chris Miller
LG: Josh Linehan, Jeremy Perry, J.C. Ronnfeldt
C: Kyle DeVan, Adam Speer
RG: Roy Schuening, Andy Levitre
RT: Tavita Thompson, Whitfield Usher
Depth chart end of April:
LT: Adam Koets, Tavita Thompson
LG: Jeremy Perry, Andy Levitre, Zach Harris
C: Kyle DeVan, Adam Speer
RG: Roy Schuening, Andy Levitre, J.C. Ronnfeldt
RT: Josh Linehan, Tavita Thompson
Josh Linehan - expected to be 100% by August
Musical offensive lineman was the name of the game. A couple of players (Chris Miller and Whitfield Usher) left the team and injuries (Josh Linehan) forced tackles to move to guards and guards to move to tackles. The bottom line is each player got plenty of repetitions and the chance to prove himself at tackle or guard.
Linehan, Roy Scheuning and Jeremy Perry established themselves as the better linemen on the team. Linehan's injury happened early in camp which really hurt the development of the starting five as a unit. But since the injury happened early his sprain is expected to be fully healed by August. Riley said Linehan was in the best shape of his college career and hopefully he can keep his physique and strength during rehab.
Scheuning had a quiet, yet solid camp. He is a tireless work with solid fundamentals and will be looking to grab post-season honors once again.
Perry lived up to the hype as he was aggressive, active and looked comfortable on the starting line. His low center of gravity and explosiveness off the block gives him an advantage even against the most talented defensive lineman. Before his career is through expect to see him grab post-season honors.
His fellow redshirt freshman counterpart Tavita Thompson struggled on the end containing the quicker defensive ends and blitzing linebackers. Thompson unfortunately has not developed as quickly, both physically and technique-wise, as hoped and is still a work in progress. Andy Levitre solidified himself as the backups to both guard spots, but will only see playing time if Perry or Schuening are injured.
The most contested battle on the line happed between Kyle DeVan and Adam Speer at the center position. Both looked comfortable in a leadership role, but both muffed snaps with several quarterbacks, multiple times. DeVan leads for the starting spot, but will have to stay at the top of his game if he wants to start the entire year.
Transfer Zach Harris was a nice surprise as he provides good bulk on the line. J.C. Ronnfeldt lost weight and looks to be building good, solid mass. He won't break into the starting lineup but will be a decent, developing reserve. The same can be said about Harris..
The guards and tackles are set with Koets and Perry manning the left side and Schuening and Linehan guarding the right. DeVan and Speer will continue their battle in the fall, but Riley will establish a starter by the end of first week. Speer will see plenty of time on special teams though as him and Perry spend the most time working with the special teams.
Similar to last season the unit blocks well for the pass but struggles being the aggressors and opening up holes for the running game. The good thing is that if the offensive line is playing against one of the best linebacking groups in the nation. If they contain the OSU linebackers, they can contain most units in the nation.
Riley believes in a baptism by fire approach as he throws everything at the offense during scrimmages. Sometimes it is hard to watch, but when the offensive line does succeed you know they did almost everything correct. Plus, they are in good hands with new offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh who is a stickler for fundamentals and technique. The groundwork is being laid for a sturdy offensive line system, it just may take a year or several games to work out the kinks.
Top spring performer:
Roy Schuening. A underrated, blue-collar player that went to practice everyday and got the job done. He is following up an all-conference season and is looking to make the first team this time around. He was recently rated the 20th best guard in the country by The Sporting News.
Spring offensive line summary in three sentences or less:
Linehan's injury hurt in more ways than one (see above). There is concern about depth on the offensive line. The unit is in good hands with coach Mike Cavanaugh.
Who's coming in the fall:
All of the freshmen will have an opportunity to play for a backup role. Riley and his staff would prefer to redshirt the entire class, but if injuries occur they may be forced to play the a couple of the true freshmen.
Kaiona Lacount - possible non-qualifier, but could be another good one from
Gregg Peat - a late addition to the '05 class, will have something to prove after the situation at Nevada, could have problems qualifying
Ian Brinker - aggressive, has one of the better chances to play this year
Mike Marks - one of the top recruits in Oregon, great size, will be a project
James Otuhiva - will be placed at right tackle, known as a fearless blocker in the JC ranks where he played tight end