ARLINGTON, Texas — With Zach Crabtree and Brad Lundblade leaving Oklahoma State, the next generation of offensive linemen are emerging.
Redshirt senior center Johnny Wilson has played a role in that future, and even though he has one year left with the Cowboys he already knows his impact at OSU will remain with the underclassmen in the position group.
“I’m excited,” Wilson said during Big 12 media days at AT&T Stadium. “... I’m trying to leave it where the guys in front of me left off.” Zach Crabtree, Brad Lundblade left me in great hands. So me and Marcus (Keyes) are trying to bring some of those young guys up, and hopefully I’ll be able to come back and be like ‘Hey I had a part in that.’”
Josh Henson started building the foundation as OSU’s O-line coach in 2017, when Wilson was a great redshirt sophomore. After two years with Henson, who was an offensive lineman during his playing days at OSU, Wilson and Keyes are starting to see the recruiting efforts pay off as those recruits are now teammates. Guys like Hunter Woodard, Hunter Anthony plus juniors Tevin Jenkins and Dylan Galloway could all benefit from playing alongside and learning from these guys this year.
But Henson left for Texas A&M and longtime Kansas State O-line coach Charlie Dickey is now in Stillwater. For Keyes and Wilson, Dickey is their third position coach. The duo will have to adapt to new coaching schemes and tactics not just from Dickey, but from new offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson, too. Dickey and Gleeson are learning their new players as well and will rely on their veteran players to bridge the gap and help younger players.
This year’s O-line might not be totally new, but Keyes and Wilson are working with their teammates to push them to improve under new coaches. What they do with their leadership roles this upcoming season will be important and they’re not taking it lightly.