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The Joe Wickline Impact - Wickline Was Gone For A Year And It Got Messy Quick

Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State was by no means a powerhouse school in the country or let alone it's own conference in 2004 and it's just now starting to look like one in 2015. A lot has happened since those four-win teams in the early 2000s. However, there's no denying that a huge part of the growth at OSU has been the offense, which wouldn't work without good offensive line play.

At the college level, offensive line play matters a lot. Without protecting a quarterback, he will not grow to the potential he has no matter what. The base of getting good offensive line play is coaching, which can not be done without good recruiting to get the right players in. In 2005, Joe Wicklines first year, the recruiting class was decent, but not great. The four players on the line in that class averaged a height of 6-feet-5-inches, 270.5 pounds and a 2.5 star rating. When Wickline left, not much had changed, but it is still very noticeable. In 2013, Wicklines last real class, he had moved the average of OSU offensive recruiting to 6-5, 280 pounds and a 2.815 star rating.

In his time, he brought in only three four-star linemen and no five-star. However, the biggest improvement is obviously the rate. In a mere nine years, Wickline had gotten the average weight almost one ninth-grade Jalen Mckleskey's. That's a lot. This means instead of having to put meat on the guys to come in, he could start them out with the intentions to play them even quicker. The star rating growth doesn't do it justice, as Wickline's 38 recruits were made of 30 three or four-stars, seven were two stars and only one unranked, Levi Adcock. The last two star before 2012 was 2009 recruit Parker Graham.

Once Wickline left, most have focused on his coaching on the field being the biggest thing missing from the line as its play has suffered. That is largely true, but not 100 percent true. When Bob Connelly took over the team suffered in line recruiting. We'll give him 2014 and 2015 class, as Adkins didn't get hired until February.

In two classes, Connelly dropped the average recruit to 6-4.5-inches, 258.36 pounds and 2.72 stars. Again, you notice, the line got lighter, a big mistake as Connelly already didn't have many of the players from the year before. With that class two have gotten attention from the fans, Matt Kellerman and Dionte Noel.

In one year, Greg Adkins has raised the recruit size again, to 6-5.2-inches, 294 pounds and a three star rating with five recruits, one less than Connelly brought in with two classes, and also had two 300-pounders, one more than Connelly.

The line hasn't been much of an improvement this year from the two before but it's definitely made strides in the pass blocking game if anywhere. The running game has suffered, though, if not because of the running backs, because of the run blocking, or lack of it. Adkins' boys will have to get bigger and better if the Cowboys hope to ever get to the 11-0 mark before dropping a game but it seems to be on the way.

Averages taken from 247 Sports and math was checked twice. However, if mistakes are found, please let me know.