Welcome to one of The Oklahoman’s preseason football blog series, where we’ll look at the Cowboys’ 13 most important players for the 2013 season.
“Most important” is, obviously, a subjective term. So debate and conversation are welcome.
Let’s kick this off…
No. 13: Jake Jenkins
Yep, an offensive lineman leads off this list. Jenkins would probably prefer to live in oblivion all season — because the only time a casual fan truly notices the center is when he botches the snap.
OSU’s fast-paced, no-huddle offense relies heavily on tempo. That puts a large bulk of the responsibility on the center to make the correct offensive line calls. Then, of course, to cleanly get the ball to the quarterback so the system can hum without interruption.
This will be OSU’s third starting center in three seasons. Grant Garner finished his standout career in 2011, and Evan Epstein followed with a strong senior campaign in 2012. Jenkins, a junior, started the Louisiana-Lafayette game last season when Epstein was out with an injury and has played in seven career games.
There isn’t much depth or experience behind Jenkins, as redshirt freshman Zac Veatch, who played tight end and defensive line in high school before switching to the offensive line upon arriving at OSU, is listed as the backup on the post-spring depth chart. So a productive starting debut from Jenkins will be critical for the Cowboys’ offense.