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Positional Reviews and Previews: Offensive Line

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This is series of positional reviews, which entail a look back and a look forward at each position for the Red Raiders. We'll try and take a look at who is gone, who remains and who we can look forward to playing in the not so distant future.

Season Review and Preview: Offensive Line

Who Is Leaving: No one. And I'm pretty sure that when I say no one, I actually mean that every offensive lineman, starter or otherwise, returns. Wait, the Red Raiders actually do lose a lineman in deep snapper Michael Bettenhausen, who did not play in a game this past year.

Who Returns: Everyone. The entire line that only allowed 23 sacks in 694 attempts, helped an offense average 475.6 yards a game and kept Harrell upright for almost an entire season. Now the bad part is that the rushing game suffered. Part of the blame can be laid at the feet of the musical-chair running backs, but I think that the line can take some blame/credit for the lackluster running attack. Of course, we're not here to day to discuss blame or credit, but to take a look at who is returning.

Player Ht/Wt Year Position Games Played
Rylan Reed, #74 6-7/314 Jr. Tackle 13
Louis Vasquez, #65 6-6/335 Jr. Guard 13
Shawn Byrnes, #51 6-4/303 RS So. Center 12
Brandon Carter, #76 6-7/374 So. Guard 13
Marlon Winn, #67 6-6/329 So. Tackle 13
Stephen Hamby, #71 6-3/287 So. Guard/Tackle 12
Jake Johnson, #79 6-7/369 Jr. Tackle 8
Chris Olson, #70 6-5/303 RS Fr. Guard 6
Justin Keown, #73 6-4/280 Fr. Center 6
Austin Burns, #50 5-11/243 RS So. Deep Snapper 13
Jerrod Gooch, #72 6-4/283 RS Guard 1*
Adrian Archie, #62 6-5/313 RS Fr. ? DNP
Landon Burge, #68 6-3/284 RS. So. ? DNP
Dominique Delpeche, #64 6-5/350 RS Tackle DNP
Lonnie Edwards, #78 6-5/313 RS Guard DNP
Blake Emert, #75 6-4/286 RS Guard DNP
Mickey Okafor, #77 6-7/320 RS Tackle DNP

We'll divide this group of linemen into Starters and The Rest. Up first, the Starters:

  • The Starters: I truly believe that this line is as fine a line as you'll find anywhere in the country. More than anything else, I'm so impressed with the incredible athleticism of this team, starting with Reed. Despite the injury in the Gator Bowl, I'll expect Reed to comeback stronger than ever. Besides, he's already beat cancer, he's not going to get punked by some bum ankle. I thought that Winn played so much better down the stretch and he eventually removed Johnson as the starter. Carter and Vasquez are mountain men, literally and I think that Byrnes does a pretty good job of calling the right pass protection.

  • The Rest: I'm really only comfortable with projecting a few of these guys. I think Hamby will swing between tackle and guard, as needed. He's a versatile player who I think plays the guard as his permanent position. Johnson will probably see some spot starting time, but I wouldn't look for him to replace Winn. Additionally, I like Olson, but I don't think he replaces either Vasquez or Carter. Keown will eventually take over for Byrnes, but it's going to be a while as I believe Byrnes is more talented.

    I have absolutely no idea about Archie or Burge. And when I say that I have no idea, I absolutely mean that I have no idea if they can even contribute.

    From what I recall from the spring and summer, Gooch and Edwards are going to be your starting guards in the very near future. Or at least when Vasquez and Carter graduate. I'm still trying to figure out if Gooch really did play during the Gator Bowl and if that's the case I want to know why his redshirt was burned for the last game of the season. Both Delpeche and Okafor should man the tackle position for some time to come. I tend to think of Okafor as the more gifted athlete of these two linemen and plays left tackle while Delpeche plays the right tackle position.

Who Is Going To Be Here: I thought that I had a pretty good handle on who was going to play where in last year's class and I was wrong on almost every count. This year, I'm still going to guess, but I'll predicate everything by saying that Leach and Coach Moore tend to put the most talented guys on the field at any one time. Case in point: Brandon Carter and Louis Vasquez are not your typical guards.

Castillo was a grey shirt, and I'm still not sold that he plays on the offensive line. He played quite a bit of defensive line in high school and I'd imagine that the only thing holding him back is his height. I say, don't let that stop you from putting him on the defense.

I'm guessing that Gallington plays guard while King and McDaniel project to play tackle. I'm not sure that I've figured out the trend where Moore places players, but as with most offensive lines, the more athletic players tend to play at tackle.

Player Ht/Wt School
Omar Castillo 6-6/310 Roswell, NM
Deveric Gallington 6-4/320 North Richland Hills, TX
Joe King 6-6/297 Oklahoma City, OK
Terry McDaniel 6-7/333 Diana, TX

Depth Chart: Keep in mind that any depth chart does include current commitments and there may be additional commitments that could change everything. In other words, we're all just guessing.

In all honesty, I think that offensive line coach Matt Moore wants the best players on the field regardless of position. I tend to think that Moore has an idea as to what he wants at each position, but ultimately, Moore is more concerned about talent rather than position. That being said, I'll give predicting the depth chart a shot.

Year Starter Backup Backup
2008 Rylan Reed, Sr. Stephen Hamby, Jr. Mickey Okafor, RS Fr.
Louis Vasquez, Sr. Chris Olson, So. Jerrod Gooch, RS Fr.
Shawn Byrnes, Jr. Justin Keown, So.
Brandon Carter, Jr. Lonnie Edwards, RS Fr. Blake Emert, RS Fr.
Marlon Winn, Jr. Jake Johnson, Sr. Dominique Delpeche, RS Fr.
2009 Stephen Hamby, Sr. Mickey Okafor, So.
Chris Olson, Jr. Jerrod Gooch, So.
Shawn Byrnes, Sr. Justin Keown, Jr.
Brandon Carter, Sr. Lonnie Edwards, So. Blake Emert, So.
Marlon Winn, Sr. Dominique Delpeche, So.
2010 Mickey Okafor, Jr.
Chris Olson, Sr. Jerrod Gooch, Jr.
Justin Keown, Sr.
Lonnie Edwards, Jr. Blake Emert, Jr.
Dominique Delpeche, Jr.

Prior Positional Reviews and Previews: