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2007 Review and Preview: Texas Tech Linemen

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Preview/Reviews:

Who Is Gone:

No. Player Yr. Ht./Wt.
78 Gabe Hall SR 6-4/293
73 Brandon Jones SR 6-3/314
69 Glenn January SR 6-6/298
63 Manuel Ramirez SR 6-4/335

I couldn't be happier with the way the line played last year. It's unfortunate that Tech has to replace so many offensive linemen but it's not as if there aren't any more linemen who are more than capable of filling their place.

Who Returns:

No. Player Yr. Ht./Wt. Comment
62 Adrian Archie RS Fr. 6-5/313 Still a project.
- Buddy Brumit RS Fr. 6-3/285 Still a project.
76 Ben Davis - 6-7/300 Not on spring roster.
70 Dimitri Lott - 6-3/265 No longer with team.
77 Chris Olson RS Fr. 6-5/298 Possible starter at right tackle.
75 Ofa Mohetau Sr. 1V 6-3/362 Should start at right guard - must work on grades.
64 Shawn Byrnes So. 1V 6-3/317 Possible starter at center.
60 Brandon Carter So. 1V 6-6/356 Possible starter at right guard.
61 Andrew Johnson So. RS 6-4/304 Still a project.
79 Gary Taylor So. RS 6-5/245 Still a project.
67 Marlon Winn So. RS 6-5/324 Should start at left tackle.
72 Josh Aleman - 6-3/308 Not on spring roster.
71 Stephen Hamby Jr. Sq. 6-3/280 Still a project.
74 Rylan Reed Jr. 2V 6-6/285 Possible starter at right tackle.
65 Louis Vasquez Jr. 2V 6-6/341 Should start at left guard.

There's a number of young players who are talented. Mohetau is the most talented of the returning players and if he can get his grades up, he'll supplant Carter. Vasquez is a returning starter. The way that Leach and company has developed offensive linemen, this is the least of our worries. Yes, they'll be young, but they'll be good. Tech does such a great job of teaching players how to play on an island and still create gaps for the running game.

New Recruits:

Player Ht. Wt. Comment
Omar Castillo 6-6 310 Could possibly move to defensive tackle.
Dominique Delpeche 6-7 338 Maybe the most physically gifted.
Lonnie Edwards 6-5 305 Highest rated and most ready to play.
Blake Emert 6-5 275 Must put on weight - project.
Jerrod Gooch 6-4 290 Still a project.
Justin Keown 6-4 280 May backup center position.
Mickey Okafor 6-6 290 Has athletic potential to be special.

If Tech can get 3 of the 7 to actually contribute by the time these guys have graduated, then I'm happy. I speculate about Castillo because he played defensive line in high school, but he's probably a project anyway and the coaches may want to tinker with his eventual position for at least a year.

Projections

  • 2007
    1. RT: Chris Olson - So.; Rylan Reed - Jr.
    2. RG: Brandon Carter - So.; Ofa Mohetau - Sr.
    3. C: Shawn Byrnes - So.; Justin Keown - Fr.
    4. LG: Louis Vasquez - Jr.; Josh Aleman - Jr.
    5. LT: Marlon Winn - So.; Lonnie Edwards - So..
  • 2008
    1. RT: Chris Olson - Jr..; Rylan Reed - Sr..
    2. RG: Brandon Carter - Jr.; ?
    3. C: Shawn Byrnes - Jr.; Justin Keown - So.
    4. LG: Louis Vasquez - Sr.; Josh Aleman - Sr.
    5. LT: Marlon Winn - Jr.; Lonnie Edwards - Fr.

There's a couple of things to note here:

  • Tech is really setting itself up for an outstanding 2008. Depending upon the situation, there's a real possibility that Tech will return all of it's offensive linemen for 2007 and 2008, 4/5's of their offensive linemen for 2009. I'd like to project out even further, but it's so hard to figure out where these guys are going to be until after the spring, it's a crapshoot with most of the other positions, but I think it's even more so with offensive linemen.
  • I was shocked not to see Ben Davis and Josh Aleman not on the spring roster. I have no idea why they don't appear there other than to speculate that they are no longer with the team. That means that some of the redshirt freshmen Archie, Brumit, Johnson and Taylor, may have to step up their play.
  • I don't think that Tech will see much of a drop-off in terms of talent on the offensive line. I know that's an awfully "homeristic" (is that even a word?) view, but I have to believe that with the addition of Bicknell, Jr. and the idea that the guys who will be playing are more talented than their predecessors (at least on paper).
  • I think that Tech offensive linemen are conditioned to hold their own when they come to Tech that they have all been given time to adapt to how Tech expects their linemen to perform. Not to mention, most of the guys who I'm projecting to start (we'll know more after the spring practice) are already juniors and seniors and been in the system for at least 2 years.