Texas Tech Football Position Review and Preview | Offensive Line

This is DTN's highly anticipated and greatly scrutinized positional review and preview. Comments and thoughts are greatly appreciated in the comments.

WHO IS GONE

No. Name Year Ht./Wt. Position
73 Justin Keown SR 6-4/286 Center
47 Jesse Smitherman SR 6-3/238 Deep Snapper
78 Lonnie Edwards SR 6-4/320 Offensive Line
62 David Neill SR 6-6/290 Offensive Line
74 Mickey Okafor SR 6-6/307 Offensive Line

You could say that Texas Tech loses three starters, maybe four. The fact that we never once complained about a snap tells you something about the importance of Smitherman and the job he did deep-snapping. Edwards is a big loss and his presence will be missed on the left side next year. Keown was solid as well and despite the fact that Oklahoma St. said he was giving away plays he played on two knees that needed surgery after the end of the season. Just can't imagine a guy that is injured would be giving away plays. Okafor was replaced by the end of the year by McDaniel, which is maybe why his brother switched commitments or knew that former OL coach Matt Moore was no longer going to be his coach, may be an indication. Either way, this was the one position going into 2011 that I was most concerned about in 2012 because of the talent that would be lost. The offensive line is going to need to be re-built and now will be doing it with a new offensive line coach.


WHO REMAINS

No. Name Year Ht./Wt. Position
77 Le'Raven Clark FR 6-3/289 Offensive Line
64 Wayne Foster FR 6-4/250 Offensive Line
56 Alfredo Morales FR 6-3/276 Offensive Line
70 Tony Morales FR 6-2/303 Offensive Line
63 James Polk FR 6-6/324 Offensive Line
60 Michael Wells FR 6-0/210 Offensive Line
67 Matt Wilson FR 6-6/254 Offensive Line
66 Deveric Gallington JR 6-3/328 Offensive Line
68 Terry McDaniel JR 6-6/328 Offensive Line
65 LaAdrian Waddle JR 6-6/332 Offensive Line
72 Beau Carpenter RS FR 6-6/296 Offensive Line
71 Kyle Clark RS SO 6-5/300 Offensive Line
57 David Brenner FR 6-0/218 Deep Snapper
52 Alex Chester RS FR 5-10/207 Deep Snapper

I am almost positive that Foster, Wells Brenner and Chester are all walk-ons so I'm not going to talk about them much since I don't know anything about them. Returning to the line are Gallington, McDaniel, Waddle and Carpenter. Carpenter saw some action and although he didn't stand out to me, he's a guy that I think could slip into that left guard spot.

Tony Morales was the more hyped of the two Morales brothers and there was the thought that he was going to be the future center of this team. More on that later. Alfredo was no slouch, just not as highly rated as Tony. L. Clark very well could move into any of the spots along the line as I think he's athletic enough and strong enough to play guard or tackle, but I think his future is at guard as he has fantastic athleticism for a guy his size. Wilson is most likely a tackle prospect and in going back and looking at his film I think that he could be a factor in 2013. He's incredibly dependable. I am almost positive that all four of these players (A. Morales, T. Morales, Wilson and L. Clark), as part of the 2011 class, redshirted, except for Alfredo , who had his redshirt removed in the first game, but was then injured for the year shortly thereafter. A. Morales might be eligible for a medical redshirt, but I haven't read anything about that. Clark may have played this year, but I haven't been able to find that confirmation just yet. Clark may have played this year, but I haven't been able to find that confirmation just yet. A. Morales was the biggest project on the team and would think that he's got some time before he sees the field, he could certainly surprise me next year, but I'm thinking that he and Wilson are probably a little further down the road in terms of development.

I'm not sure what to make of K. Clark or Polk. K. Clark was a good player coming out of high school, but doesn't seem to be mentioned much in terms of seeing any playing time and the same could be said for Polk. Part of me thinks that players that you don't hear a lot that have been in the program for a couple of years are candidates for attrition or losing their scholarship. I'm not saying that either K. Clark or Polk are sitting in that position, but they'll both have to step and work themselves into the rotation or they might risk losing their scholarship.

More after the jump.


WHO IS ON THE WAY

Name Ht./Wt. High School
Halapoulivaati Vaitai 6-5/260 Haltom (Haltom City, TX)
Jared Kaster 6-4/268 Rice (Altair, TX)
Trey Keenan 6-5/270 Argyle (Argyle, TX)

I almost always hesitate to do a roster review and preview before national signing day, but take everything from this point forward with a grain of salt as commitments can and do change. I think that Keenan is actually this team's highest rated commit, but prior to the season Vaitai was right there as well. Keenan and Vaitai both have 4-star ratings, Keenan by 24/7 and Vaitai by Scout. I think that both are athletic tackle type of players that I like a lot because they haven't filled out quite yet and still have a lot of room to improve. Kaster is a solid center, and although the thought was that T. Morales would be taking over the center position, I think that A. Morales is a bit more versatile and could play in multiple spots, Kaster is more or less one of the better center prospects in the nation, #5 by Rivals.


FINAL THOUGHTS

It wouldn't surprise me to see one, maybe two, JUCO offensive linemen eventually signed. I think I count nine current scholarship offensive linemen on the roster and these three will make it twelve thirteen. I would prefer that the new offensive line coach maybe pull someone they've seen play and take a chance on a high school player, but overall, the line is going to be young next year.

Six of the thirteen players on the currently roster will be redshirt freshmen or sophomores with K. Clark, McDaniel, Waddle and Gallington being the upper-classmen. I'm not a big fan of JUCO offensive linemen unless the staff thinks they can come in and start right away, but I really haven't seen Texas Tech associated with any offensive linemen in the JUCO ranks. If we know that Waddle, McDaniel and Gallington will all start next year, the most likely scenario is that the remaining spots will most likely be filled with redshirt freshmen and sophomores. They'll most likely have to be the ones that step up next year.

QUESTIONS

1. Who is your starting five offensive linemen next year?

2. Which freshman (from the 2011 class) do you think will make the biggest impact this year?

3. Which incoming freshman (from the 2012 class) do you think will have the best career at Texas Tech?

4. Which of the four players graduating with this team miss the most next year?

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