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Oklahoma State football: Cowboys trying to piece together offensive line

by John Helsley Published: August 20, 2014
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— Bob Connelly arrived for spring practice under the gun.

First, he was replacing longtime offensive line coach Joe Wickline, who left to join Charlie Strong at Texas.

Second, and more importantly, he faced a major overhaul of a line that had been ravaged by injury and defections.

Connelly can’t do anything about comparisons to Wickline. But he can – and is – at work piecing together a capable unit from the wreckage, created at least in part by Wickline, who left the cupboard somewhat barren.

Oklahoma State’s two-deep depth chart features three seniors, two of those junior college transfers; just one junior; three sophomores; and two freshman, including a redshirt freshman slated to start at right tackle. The reserves? All freshmen and sophomores.

The upper classes are thin on starters and bodies.

The good news: the line, at least the starting five, has been a pleasant surprise this preseason.

“It’s coming together,” Connelly said. “I’m encouraged.”

The Cowboys could have benefited by the return of Travis Cross and Jake Jenkins, who would have been senior starters. But each chose to move into the workforce and forego their final seasons.

Still, Connelly remains optimistic.

“The relationship process I’ve been trying to build since I got here in February has engrained some confidence in them, I think,” Connelly said. “As long as they respect who I am, understand that I have their best interests in my heart and know that the information I’m providing them will help them become better players, I think we’ll get there as a unit.

“They’re starting to buy into who I am. I think we’ve come a long way from Day 1 of spring.”

Left Tackle

Starter

LT 58 Daniel Koenig;;6-6;;300;;Sr.;;Cape Coral, Fla.

OSU’s most experienced lineman, with 22 career starts. A two-year regular, Koenig is being counted on to be the anchor to this unit, both physically and mentally, as a leader.

Backup

74 Michael Wilson;;6-6;;300;;So.;;Aledo, Texas

A coveted recruit from a three-time high school state championship team, Wilson played sparingly as a redshirt freshman a year ago. His role should expand dramatically.

Left Guard

Starter

LG 75 Chris Grisbhy;;6-5;;325;;Sr.;;Clute, Texas

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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