Position Series: Offensive Line

WKUInsider is running a position series as a preseason football feature to help you get familiar with the entire Western Kentucky roster. Our latest installment provides a look at the Toppers offensive line.

OVERVIEW

The Hilltoppers return a nice core of experienced veterans along the offensive front, including the entire left side.

A two-time All-Conference choice, Jeff Lamp is back at left tackle, with Brandon Ray, a FWAA Freshman All-American, highlight a solid mix of returnees that helped WKU set multiple records in 2014. Max Halprin returns at center following season-ending back surgery. On the right side, Darrell Williams started the final 10 games last season at right guard. The departure of Cam Clemmons left WKU offensive line coach Neil Callaway with one starting spot to fill.

The line seemed solidified early in fall camp, but Matt Nord suffered a broken foot forcing adjustments on the right side. Williams moves to the guard spot and Joe Manley climbs into the starting tackle spot.

The depth includes 6-foot-5, 275-pound freshman R.J. Scaife, originally a member of the 2014 recruiting class, and 6-foot-5, 290-pound sophomore Jimmie Sims.

Breakthrough Player


Max Halpin

After becoming the starter center for the Hilltoppers three games into his redshirt freshman season, Max Halpin appeared poised for a breakout season in 2014. Unfortunately, threes game in suffered a season-ending back injury.

The 6-foot-3, 295-pound junior, a product of Covington (Ky.) Catholic, was selected to the Rimington Award Watch List prior to the start of the season.

Sleeper


Joe Manley

Manley, a Bowling Green native, returned to his hometown after spending two seasons at Louisville. In his first season on The Hill, the 6-foot-6, 315-pound lineman rotated at right guard with Williams.

The injury to Nord puts added pressure on Manley to help solidify the experienced offensive line.

Extra Points

  • Matt Nord currently has no expected time of recovery.
  • In Nord's absence, Darrell Williams moves to right tackle, with Manley filling the right guard spot.
  • WKU inked four freshman offensive lineman in the 2015 recruiting class: Tyler Camp (Forsyth, Ga.), Hunter Holland (Buford, Ga.), Parker Howell (Nashville, Tenn.) and Cullen Reynolds (Madisonville, Ky.). Each were selected as All-State performers following their senior seasons.

Coming Up

  • Up next in our continuing position series will be a look at the Hilltopper safeties.
  • Also keep an eye out for a player feature, including more of our video interview, on Manley.


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