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Oklahoma State football: Why health is the biggest factor for OSU's 2014 offensive line

The focus of the next three months will center on the continued rehab of Devin Davis and Brandon Garrett, who ideally project as the Cowboys starting tackles but are returning from significant injuries.
by John Helsley Published: April 20, 2014


photo - Medical personnel attend to Oklahoma State's Brandon Garrett (67) after he injured his leg during the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the University of Missouri Tigers at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Medical personnel attend to Oklahoma State's Brandon Garrett (67) after he injured his leg during the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the University of Missouri Tigers at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Health, more than anything, factors into the quality of OSU’s offensive line in 2014.

And, likewise, the quality of the offense overall?

The focus of the next three months will center on the continued rehab of Devin Davis and Brandon Garrett, who ideally project as the Cowboys starting tackles. Davis blew out a knee last preseason and missed the entire season, while Garrett suffered a gruesome lower leg injury in the Cotton Bowl.

With them both, the starting unit gets an obvious boost, not only in the return of its tackles, but in strengthening the interior of the line and in enhancing depth.

Yet the return of either to 100 percent in August is hardly a given.

Without one or both, OSU’s front takes on a youthful, inexperienced look that involves sophomores Paul Lewis and Zac Veatch at center and right guard, with redshirt freshman Zach Crabtree at right tackle. Behind them: more unproven youth. While there’s optimism surrounding the youngsters — and Crabtree’s rise became one of the pleasant developments of the spring — expecting all to be Big 12 ready is a lot.

This scenario also pushes Daniel Koenig from guard to left tackle, stretching the line’s effectiveness further.

Having Davis and Garrett ready allows Koenig and senior Chris Grisbhy to man the guard spots, surrounding Lewis with a veteran presence, forming an optimum lineup and bringing the youngsters along in less-stress roles.

What to expect?

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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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