Hiring the well-respected Damian Wroblewski to replace him as offensive line coach and returning a strong group of linemen, the state of the position is looking up this spring. Rutgers lost four valued linemen, including Desmond Wynn, who is expected to hear his name called at Radio City Music Hall in April.
Rutgers now has 15 spring practices to begin building the 2012 offensive line.
Freshman All-American Kaleb Johnson checks in as the anchor of the offensive line. Like Anthony Davis after his stellar freshman season, a position change may be in order for Johnson, who started at right tackle for the majority of the season.
Johnson came to Rutgers projecting as a guard, but a strong season at tackle and time in the college weight room may lead him to protecting the blind side at left tackle.
Fifth-year senior transfer R.J. Dill should have the right tackle spot locked up, at least for the spring before the freshmen arrive.
Before a talented group of freshmen come this summer, look for the athletic David Osei and tough Betim Bujari to handle the majority of repetitions at guard and a healed up Dallas Hendrickson to begin as first-team center.
Bujari has the potential to make All-Big East at guard this year and a spring to learn guard is the best thing for Osei. Look for former starting left tackle Andre Civil to also get his share of first-team reps on the line.
Junior guard Antwan Lowery has his work cut out for him to get back into the rotation on the line, but can still be a force to be reckoned with. Under a new head coach and starting fresh this spring, Lowery needs to show what he can do to get back into the mix.
Youngsters like Lumpkin and Alexander may still be a year away from serious action, but McBride can certainly put his name in the mix with a strong spring and questionable depth at center and guard. The key word, however, is strong. McBride needs to improve his strength to become a serious contender.