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Spring Football Preview: Offensive Line

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Next up in our spring position previews is the offensive line

New Offensive Line Coach Greg Adkins takes the OL into spring ball
New Offensive Line Coach Greg Adkins takes the OL into spring ball
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 season was pretty rough for the offensive line. The Cowboys were starting life without long time coach Joe Wickline, and most of the experienced starters from 2013 had graduated. The Florida State game looked promising for the unit with J.W. Walsh at the helm, but when he was lost for the season the line struggled to protect a much less illusive Daxx Garman. Oklahoma State gave up a disappointing 40 sacks (3.08 sacks per game) which ranked 117th out of 125 teams. Toward the end of the season, the combination of players getting healthy with the insertion of Mason Rudolph led to better results for the offensive line.

New offensive line coach Greg Adkins will have his work cut out for him, as there will be several players looking to solidify their spot in the rotation this spring. Brandon Pertile and Devon Davis (both rehabbing from injury), Johnny Wilson, Vaimoe Sekona, and Marcus Keyes will all be joining the team in the summer, but there is still plenty of intrigue surrounding this group for spring ball.

Departing Players

Daniel Koenig

Following in his brother Doug's footsteps, Daniel Koenig redshirted his freshman year and developing into a contributor on the offensive line and special teams. Koenig started 11 games his sophomore year at right tackle, highlighted by a 12 knockdown game against ULL. In 2013, Daniel started 11 games again, beginning the season at right tackle and moving to left tackle later in the season. Koenig finished his senior year again as starter having to shuffle around some due to injuries.

Brandon Garrett

Garrett transferred to Oklahoma State from Trinity Valley Community College, and played in 11 games and started in four his junior year. Garrett broke his leg in the Cotton Bowl against Missouri, but returned to start game one against Florida State and was once again a key part of the offensive line rotation.

Chris Grisbhy

Grisbhy was another junior college transfer, coming to OSU from Blinn Community College. Chris played in two games as a sophomore, and saw a significant increase in playing time as a junior. He started 8 games that season and played in 11. Grisbhy was shifted between tackle and guard during the 2013 season. Last season Chris started out at guard, but was moved to tackle prior to the Baylor game to help shake things up with the line struggling.

Returning Players

Zach Crabtree

Sophomore | 6-3 | 290 lbs

Crabtree redshirted in 2013, and started last season before suffering an injury in the Iowa State game. Zach returned to his starting roll at left tackle for the Baylor game, which helped spur a much improved performance by the line. Crabree is the most probable candidate to start at right tackle opposite of Victor Salako next year.

Paul Lewis

Junior | 6-3 | 295 lbs

Lewis played in 6 games as a redshirt freshman in 2013, and started against Lamar. In 2014, Lewis started all but one game, but the coaches decided to give Lundblade a start when the line struggled during the season. Lewis and Lundblade should have quite a battle for the starting position this spring.

Michael Wilson

Junior | 6-6 | 300 lbs

Wilson played sparingly in 2013, after redshirting his freshman year. However, last season he started and played significant time, playing every position on the line by the end of the season. Wilson should be able to move back to guard with the arrival of Victor Salako.

Brad Lundblade

Sophomore | 6-3 | 290 lbs

Lundlade was a walk-on freshman last season, and shared time with Paul Lewis. Expect Lundblade and Lewis to have one of the more intriguing battles of the spring for the starting role at center next season.

Jesse Robinson

Sophomore | 6-6 | 310

After redshirting in 2013, Robinson didn't see the field until the Baylor game last season, where his play earned him the starting position against OU and Washington. Clearly, Jesse was a big part of stabilizing the offensive line late in the season, and that play should carry over to the spring where he should earn the starting role at guard.

Colby Hegwood

Senior | 6-5 | 320

Hegwood transferred to OSU in 2013 from Pearl River Community College. He saw action late in games against Iowa State and Kansas his sophomore year, and played sparingly last season. Colby will need to make a big impact in the spring in order to have a shot at significant playing time next season.

Newcomers

Victor Salako

Junior | 6-6 | 315 lbs

UAB transfer Victor Salako is easily the most important acquisition this year for the immediate future of the offensive line. Salako started in every game the last two seasons, and helped UAB average over 200 yards rushing a game in 2014. Salako arrived in time for Bowl practices in December, and was able to get a jump start on learning the offensive scheme. Expect Salako to win the left tackle position in the spring.

Matt Mucha

RS Freshman | 6-6 | 280 lbs

Mucha enters his first year of spring practice after redshirting in 2014. Mucha was a two time All-District Selection at Clear Lake High School in Seabrook, Texas, and held offers from Texas Tech, Arkansas State, Memphis and UCF. Matt made a strong impression on the coaches in practice last year, and should have a shot at playing time next season.

Lemaefe Galea'i

RS Freshman | 6-5 | 300 lbs

Lemaefe was a 3-star recruit in 2013, and was ranked as the 44th overall offensive tackle prospect by Scout. Galea'i held offers from Baylor, BYU, and Utah State, and was All State Honorable Mention his senior year. The OSU coaches considered pulling his redshirt when Zach Crabtree was injured last season, but elected to go a different route. Expect Lemaefe to be right in the thick of competition for playing time this spring.

Deionte Noel

RS Freshman | 6-3 | 300 lbs

Noel was listed as the 56th overall offensive guard prospect by ESPN a year ago, and was recruited by Texas Tech, Houston, Rice and Boise State. Noel is a bit of an unknown at this point, but should have a fresh start with new coach Greg Adkins and a chance to make his case for a spot on the two deep this spring.

Jack Kurzu

Sophomore | 6-4 | 305 lbs

Kurzu redshirted in 2013, and didn't see the field in 2014. He will need to have an impactful spring to have a shot a playing time next year.

Jaxon Salinas

Sophomore | 6-4 | 305 lbs

Salinas is another player that hasn't logged any time on the field, and will need to perform well this spring to improve his position on the depth chart.