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OSU football: New assistant coach Bob Connelly faces quick challenge

Connelly arrived in February, and he’s already at work trying to rebuild the Cowboys’ offensive line.
by John Helsley Modified: April 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm •  Published: April 6, 2014

New Cowboys assistant coach Bob Connelly hopes to catch his breath...soon.

Connelly’s been in a rush since arriving in Stillwater in February.

New city.

New job.

All new faces.

Instant pressure, too, since outside of perhaps only defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, Connelly faces OSU’s most pressing “To Do”: rebuilding the offensive line.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” Connelly said. “There’s so much going on, obviously. We’re trying to put in an offensive game plan. I’m coming in trying to learn a whole new offensive scheme, terminology, all those things. Trying to stay one step ahead of the players...trying to evaluate our current players. And then as we all know, with the speed of recruiting and year-round recruiting, I’m trying to evaluate our 2015 and even some ’16 kids.”

It would have been nice if Connelly had joined Mike Gundy’s staff finding five fifth-year senior starters ready along the offensive front for an Aug. 30 date with defending national champion Florida State. Instead, he inherits an overhaul, with but one lineman – senior Daniel Koenig – owning more than eight career starts.

Guard Chris Grisbhy, who started eight games as a junior college transfer a year ago, gives OSU another senior up front. Otherwise, the depth chart is dominated by freshmen and sophomores.

If senior Brandon Garrett and junior Devin Davis return to form off major injuries, the line gets a boost in experience and quality. But for now, Connelly is leaning on a starting group that includes sophomore Paul Lewis at center, sophomore Zac Veatch at a guard and true freshman Zachary Crabtree at right tackle. The key backups are sophomore Michael Wilson and redshirt freshman Jesse Robinson.

That’s a lot of pups for a unit that prides itself equally for its versatility in excelling at both run and pass blocking.

“We’ve got a young group,” Connelly said. “We’ve got some inexperienced kids. But for the most part, their hearts are in the right place. They come and work each and every day. We’re making progress.

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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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