Fall Camp Preview - Offensive line

With the graduation of All-Pac-10 member Adam Koets and the expected arrival of junior college transfers Jon Ioane and Michael Cole in the spring there was much talk about the battle for left tackle. Unfortunately, Ioane and Cole failed to earn enough credits to graduate and transfer to Oregon State in April.

Depth chart beginning of April:

RT: Andy Levtire, Ryan Pohl, Steven Rodenhurst

RG: Roy Schuening, Gregg Peat

C: Kyle DeVan, Marcus Henderson, Alex Linnenkohl

LG: Jeremy Perry, Adam Speer, Nathan Hannah

LT: Tavita Thompson OR Mau Nomani, Timi Oshinowo

 

Depth chart start of August:

RT: Andy Levitire, Ryan Pohl, Steven Rodenhurst

RG: Roy Schuening, Gregg Peat

C: Kyle DeVan, Marcus Henderson, Alex Linnenkohl

LG: Jeremy Perry, Adam Speer, Nathan Hannah

LT: Tavita Thompson OR Mau Nomani, Michael Cole OR Jon Ioane, Timi Oshinowo

 

Injuries:
  • Roy Schuening - limited contact as he rested his hamstring
  • Jeremy Perry - did not participate in spring practice as he rested his knee

 

Overview:

With the graduation of All-Pac-10 member Adam Koets and the expected arrival of junior college transfers Jon Ioane and Michael Cole in the spring there was much talk about the battle for left tackle.  Unfortunately, Ioane and Cole failed to earn enough credits to graduate and transfer to Oregon State in April.

If you are a glass is half full type of person then you would be happy that two year letterman Tavita Thompson received the bulk of the repetitions.  If you are a glass is half empty type of person then you would be concerned that Thompson had no one to push him on the depth chart.

The good news is Thompson improved by leaps and bounds with the added work.  Among a veteran offensive line he would most certainly be the weakest link, but would be able to hold his own.  Still, coming out of spring left tackle, in fact both tackles, were a big concern as the team lacked depth.

Over the course of the last three months the team received two items of very good news.  Mau Nomani, who was expected to go on a two year mission starting in the fall, will hang around and play this year and both Ioane and Cole are expected to be qualified and ready to compete in August.

Nomani impressed the coaches last year as he dressed down for many of the games.  He has an excellent shot at winning the starting left tackle spot.

Left guard Jeremy Perry, who is being named to preseason All-American teams by several publications, sat out the entire month as he rested his knee that he injured during the Hawaii game. He was at every practice though watching and coaching his teammates.  Perry has been named to the Outland and Lombardi Watch lists and is expected to be fully healed for fall ball.

The versatile Adam Speer received the most of the repetitions at left guard as he will backup both guard spots. He can also slide over to center if needed. Speer is this year's do everything Andy Levitire.

Centers Kyle DeVan and Marcus Henderson command the middle of the field.  DeVan has been named to the Rimington Award Watch list for the second consecutive year and is one of the top centers in the conference with 25 consecutive starts.

Henderson started at guard, but slide over to center where he has moved to second on the depth chart earning a scholarship.

Redshirt freshman Alex Linnenkohl will take over center duties next season.

Right guard Roy Schuening was slowed down as he rested a hamstring injury. Schuening has a team high 37 straight starts and should add 12 more this year. He earned Pac-10 honorable mention honors as a sophomore and junior but should make the jump to the second team this year.

Schuening's injury allowed Gregg Peat to get more repetitions which will help next year as the team lacks guards with experience.

Junior Andy Levitre has found a home at right tackle. Levitre did a little bit of everything last year earning honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors as he played guard and tackle. Redshirt freshman Ryan Pohl backs up Levitire, but could get bumped down to third on the depth chart depending on the development of Ioane and Cole.

Bottom line - the team returns a lot of experience which will help quarterback Sean Canfield's transition into a starter that much easier. The Beaver offensive line is the only team in the conference to place all five of its starters on all-conference teams.

Several pre-season publications have taken notice naming the unit one of the tops in the nation. Athlon Sports named the Black and Orange line the second best in the nation.

 

Weaknesses: Strengths:
  • Depth at tackles
  • Experience at left tackle
  • Depth at guard
  • Veterans at four of the five positions
  • Several All-Pac-10 candidates
  • A unit who has bought into the coaching system
  • Aggressiveness
  • Mobility

 

Statistics:

Rushing: 118.2

Passing: 242.4

Total Offense: 360.6

Scoring: 27.8

Red zone: 87% (45/52) | TDs 60% (31/52)

Sacks against: 35

Third down conversion: 36.5% (64/175)

Fourth down conversion: 55% (11/20)

 

Top spring performer:

It's tough to say, no one stood out, but that is not a bad thing. The players that needed rest, rested and the players that need more practice, received more repetitions. The top performer is the whole unit as everyone improved.

 

OL spring summary in three sentences or less:

Most of the veterans rested various nagging injuries as the younger players took most of the repetitions. Left tackle and overall tackle depth is still a concern, although Thompson improved greatly.

 

Notable quotes:

Riley on left tackle - "Everyone is talking about the quarterback situation, but we are looking at left tackle. That is a huge, huge situation for us. Tavita Thompson has a great opportunity and some competition so we will see how it pans out."

Riley on Levitre - "Thank goodness for Andy Levitire. He came in for a starter when Josh Linehan got injured...we were pretty much able to carry on as we had with Josh in there. That is a credit to Andy and his preparation. He should be a year better. It could be ironic...he could be that backside tackle if the lefty is the quarterback."

 

Who's coming in the fall:

Michael Cole (case file) and Jon Ioane (case file), Kevin Pankey (case file)

The line needs immediate help at both tackle spots and that is why is was excellent news to here that both Cole and Ioane are coming in the fall. Each should hit the ground running after playing in the junior college ranks for a couple of years.

Kevin Pankey is a project who will redshirt.

 

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