We’ve lamented quite a bit about the situation regarding Dakota Allen’s dismissal, rightfully so, but the coaching staff was obviously highly motivated to replace two offensive linemen in Robert Castaneda, recently arrested, and Trace Ellison, who was dismissed along with Allen and Castaneda.
When the spring depth chart was released, Castaneda wasn’t on depth chart at all and it seems that the reporters mentioned that he really wasn’t practicing with the team. Be open to the thought that Castaneda’s dismissal may not have been related to his recent arrest. Allen and Ellison appeared to have been major players up and through the spring, both Allen and Ellison were listed on the two-deep depth chart. However, I’d also be open to the thought that the dismissal of all three players was related. Let’s just say it could get complicated.
And this is where the problem lies in that Castaneda was expected to see playing time at one of the guard positions, at the very least, possibly competing with Justin Murphy or Paul Stawarz or even Madison Akamnonu. That’s one fairly vital position gone and leaves you with a walk-on, Cole Collier as the back-up at left guard. I could assure you that if something happened to Collier that Paul Stawarz would move into that left guard spot.
Then, at left tackle, Ellison was listed as the back-up to Baylen Brown. Much like the left guard spot, if the starter goes down, I would think that Akamnonu would get the call at tackle, much like Le’Raven Clark played left guard initially and moved to tackle his junior year. The footwork is probably more similar and the reason why Akamnonu is getting time playing at guard, with the thought that he permanently takes over that spot after Brown graduates. Still, Ellison was listed as a guy that the coaches thought would receive some sort of playing time.
That’s significant. I think, if I had it my way, I’d redshirt Jack Reichel as he has 4 years to play 3, which means that he has a redshirt year available and I think, would do Reichel a ton of good. Reichel looks like he’s got the run-game down in terms of blocking, but has limited highlights pass blocking, something that he will have to be particularly adept at in regards to this offense.
And it makes the incoming group of four freshman all that much more important too. Giovanni Pancotti, Travis Bruffy, Zach Adams and Bailey Smith are all going to be expected to redshirt, hopefully, but there’s a chance that they may be pressed into action if things get really bad.