Post spring look: Offensive line

With all five starters and their backups back for another go around the offensive line is the most established part of the team. There wasn't any shuffling in the lineup as the group tirelessly worked on fundamentals and technique. Each repetition is a chance to work on striking, balance and foot work. There is no such thing as going through the motions when Mike Cavanaugh is your coach.

Depth chart beginning of April:

RT: Josh Linehan, Tavita Thompson, Mike Marks
RG: Roy Schuening, Andy Levitre, Zach Harris
C: Kyle DeVan, Adam Speer
LG: Jeremy Perry, Andy Levitre, Gregg Peat
LT: Adam Koets, Tavita Thompson, Andy Levitre

 

Depth chart end of April:

RT: Josh Linehan, Tavita Thompson, Mike Marks
RG: Roy Schuening, Andy Levitre, Zach Harris
C: Kyle DeVan, Adam Speer
LG: Jeremy Perry, Andy Levitre, Gregg Peat
LT: Adam Koets, Tavita Thompson, Andy Levitre

 

Injuries:
  • None

 

Overview:

With all five starters and their backups back for another go around the offensive line is the most established part of the team.  There wasn't any shuffling in the lineup as the group tirelessly worked on fundamentals and technique.  Each repetition is a chance to work on striking, balance and foot work.  There is no such thing as going through the motions when Mike Cavanaugh is your coach.

All of the starters came into camp in shape and ready to go.  The most impressive player was left guard Jeremy Perry who turned all of his baby fat into muscle.  His arms are absolutely huge.  Perry, much like Yvenson Bernard, carries himself like a player who is at the top of his game.  The Pac-10's Co-Freshman of the year bleeds with confidence and his demeanor rubs off on his teammates.  When asked about how he thinks the offensive line will do he said that the unit has very high expectations and look forward to being one of the top units in the conference. 

Centers Kyle DeVan and Adam Speer worked with the quarterbacks on snap counts.  DeVan firmly believes that defenses last year were timing the snaps.  Varying snap counts on first, second and/or third down keeps the defense off balance and could lead to some easy yards by drawing the defense offsides.

All world lineman Andy Levitre, who plays guard with the second string and tackle with the third string, continued to impress and despite veteran players in front of him Cavanaugh says he is pushing for playing time.  Tackle Tavita Thompson continues to develop as do redshirt freshman Mike Marks and Gregg Peat.

Do to the the line's depth all of the incoming freshman are expected to redshirt which is exactly what the coaches want.

Overall the starters routinely gave the quarterbacks all the time in the world to throw.  Several new running and passing players were added to the playbook as the offensive line took the new players in stride.  This is one of the most mobile, and mean, lines in school history and could be the foundation of a very successful offensive season.  The crew is impressive in short yardage situations opening up big holes and creating well designed running lanes.

But all was not peaches and cream as the squad seemed to be getting beat by the defensive line in the later half of the month.  On the surface this was alarming but many of their struggles had to do with several factors.

Let's give credit where credit is due.  The defensive line is playing better under Coach Joe.  Second, the defense started to recognize the plays.  And third and perhaps the most significant factor, many of the receivers were hurt and the secondary locked up the backups resulting in numerous coverage sacks.  The offensive line can only hold of the defenders for so long. Even with those factors the o-line did acknowledge that they got beat up in the spring game.  That wake up call serves as great motivation going into the summer.

 

Top spring performer:

Jeremy Perry and Kyle DeVan.  Both are leaders on the offensive line and come to each practice ready to compete.  Their dedication and attention to detail will take them far individually and with the team.

 

OL spring summary in three sentences or less:

Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals.

 

Notable quotes:

Mike Cavanaugh on Andy Levitre - "Levitre is going to get reps in there and he's going to rotate in a lot. I'm excited about him. He's going to press for time, and he has a chance to be a tremendous player for us."

Mike Riley - "I feel good about the offensive line in general. And then against the defensive line, it has picked up, so that's become pretty good competition. That will be interesting."

 

Who's coming in the fall:

 

Additional links :

 

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