Since the second signing period wrapped, Oklahoma State has had one remaining available scholarship for the class of 2019. With the number of losses to the defensive front following the 2018 season, it was believed the coaching staff’s main focus was on bringing in a defensive end or tackle with experience to provide depth to the position.
But, with the exit of offensive tackle Arlington Hambright to Colorado, is the defensive line the best place to spend the final scholly or should the coaching staff look to bring in a graduate transfer or JUCO offensive lineman?
Looking at the offensive line, specifically the left tackle position vacated by Hambright, the Pokes will likely have Dylan Galloway take the starting role in 2019. He handled the job admirably last season after Hambright went down with injury and Teven Jenkins was moved to right tackle.
While Galloway did a solid job, behind him isn’t a lot of experience. The most likely candidates to back him up would be redshirt-senior Larry Joubert, who saw some action last season, or a young tackle like Bryce Bray or Jacob Ferrell.
To me, after quarterback, offensive line is the most important position group on the field for OSU. The Cowboys have struggled with line play ever since Joe Wickline left. With another new O-line coach, a new offensive coordinator and a new starting quarterback for 2019, adding talent and depth to the position would make the left tackle position one less thing to worry about next season.
There are multiple good options available on the transfer market. My top target would be Tennessee OT Drew Richmond, who OSU offered out of high school. He played right tackle for the Volunteers, which would mean moving Jenkins back to left tackle and have Richmond man the right side of the line.
There could be a similar situation with right tackle Ryan Alexander from South Alabama, who started 28 of the Jaguars’ last 29 games.
All that said, before he left Josh Henson did a good job of restocking the position group and there are some younger guys who should look poised to take a big step forward this season.
The Cowboys lost their top-six defensive lineman from last season. and while they bring back some talent and landed an JUCO lineman in Sione Asi, there is still a need for experience, especially at defensive end. We’ve already looked at possible transfer candidates, and according to Robert Allen at GoPokes, the coaching staff is looking into some of them.
Jim Knowles loves to blitz, and while the linebackers play a large role in that, it makes the defensive end position vital to the defense’s success. With only four players on the new roster currently listed at the position — Mike Scott (R-Sr.), Brock Martin (R-So.), Tyler Lacy (R-Fr.), Braden Cassity (R-Fr.) — adding a one-year piece with experience certainly wouldn’t hurt. Only two of those guys, Martin and Scott, have recorded a stat for the team; a combined 17 tackles and four sacks.
The entire defensive line is going to be very young next season with only four upper classmen — Amadou Fafana, Cam Murray, Scott, and Asi — on the roster. That said, I have some faith in the young guys and think Mike Scott is ready to take on a bigger role. I also think the secondary and linebackers are more important to the success of this team’s defense than the defensive line is.
At this point, the coaching staff seems more concerned about the defensive line position, though with a new offensive scheme and offensive line coach that might change. My guess is Henson did a good enough job restocking the offensive line personnel and that someone is ready to take on a bigger role in 2019. That should leave OSU coaches focusing their efforts on bringing in a defensive end to help out for the season.