Amidst the wreckage, a look at Oklahoma’s offensive line for 2012 and beyond
But will the different lineup have much, if any, of an impact on how the 2012 season actually turns out for Oklahoma? I’m not sure it will.
I wanted to compare where OU stands with regard to its six most-experienced, active offensive linemen (the five current projected starters and Lane Johnson, who started a year ago at RT), from standpoints of both experience and size, in comparison with the expected top six guys of just a couple weeks ago.
For now, Oklahoma’s starting offensive line (plus-1) is as follows, with each player’s classification, height, weight and number of career starts/overall game appearances:
LT — Tyrus Thompson, So., 6-5, 303 (0 starts, 5 appearances)
LG — Adam Shead, So., 6-4, 307 (5 starts, 10 appearances)
C — Gabe Ikard, Jr., 6-3, 288 (25 starts, 27 appearances)
RG — Bronson Irwin, Jr., 6-5, 307 (0 starts, 21 appearances)
RT — Daryl Williams, So., 6-6, 299 (1 start, 9 appearance)
LT — Lane Johnson, Sr., 6-7, 303 (12 starts, 13 appearances)
* Before Evans and center Ben Habern were ruled out, the Sooners’ six most-seasoned offensive linemen had made 102 starts and 133 game appearances.
After, OU’s top six linemen in terms of experience have made 43 career starts and 85 game appearances, differences of 59 and 48, respectively.
* Before Evans and Habern were ruled out, OU’s six most-seasoned offensive linemen were an average height of about 6-foot-4 and carried an average weight of nearly 300 pounds.
After, OU’s top-six-experienced linemen are an average height of 6-foot-5 and carry an average weight of just over 301 pounds.
So, with Evans and Habern out, OU’s offensive line picks up one average inch of height and one average pound of weight.
The tiny height and weight differences are obviously inconsequential for this season, but, in taking an overall look toward the future, all five 2012 starters will — in theory — be back next season more battle-tested and bigger, plus, Evans has never redshirted, making it likely he’ll get his ACL healed up this season and come back next year.
Plus, Sooners coaches are excited about several young players who may already have had a shot at playing time before, and now definitely will (in particular, true freshman center Ty Darlington and redshirt freshmen guard/center Nila Kasitati and tackle Derek Farniok, who stands a staggering 6-foot-9 and 319 pounds).
True freshman tackle Kyle Marrs (6-foot-5, 320 pounds) may get some looks, too, and who knows? Maybe Marrs’ opportunity will come with a move inside.
Then, of course, there’s junior Austin Woods, who has shown extraordinary character and fight in his return to the practice field despite his continued fight with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Woods will remain the Sooners’ field-goal snapper and, if he continues to progress in his cancer battle — and everyone is obviously pulling hard for him to do so — there’s no reason to think Woods couldn’t earn more playing time at center. He saw action there in four games last year.
The Sooners also have 2013 commitments from tackles Dalton Rodriguez (Tulsa Union), who is 6-6 and 258 pounds, and Matt Beyer (San Antonio-Reagan), who also stands at 6-6 and weighs 275 pounds.
OU is, though, going to have to get some interior-line help in the 2013 class, to make up for true freshman guard John Michael McGee’s unexpected departure Monday due to homesickness.
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