Gridiron on the Plains: Depth Chartin’ the Offensive Line

Texas Tech’s offensive line is both very experienced and very young. So long as everyone stay’s healthy, this should be one of the best units for Texas Tech.

Left Tackle Left Guard Center Right Guard Right Tackle
Le’Raven Clark
SR (6-6/316)
Alfredo Morales
SR (6-4/310)
Jared Kaster
SR (6-3/293)
Baylen Brown
SO (6-4/310)
Justin Murphy
RS FR (6-7/296)
Poet Thomas
SO (6-6/323)
Emeka Okafor
SR (6-5/320)
Tony Morales
SR (6-3/297)
Robert Castaneda
RS FR (6-5/295)
Paul Stawarz
SO (6-5/295)
Madison Akamnonu
FR (6-5/276)
Terrence Steele
FR (6-5/295)
Cody Wheeler
FR (6-4/305)
Trace Ellison
FR (6-6/285)
Conner Dyer F
R (6-5/280)
Ethan Smith
RS FR (6-5/268)
Cole Collier
RS FR (6-3/302)

Best Competition?

Everywhere but left tackle and maybe center? I think I’m comfortable with there being some favorites, but most of the guys are competing for spots and depending on how things shape up in the fall, I could see left guard, right guard and right tackle going to the finish line. so long as the Morales brothers stay healthy, they’re going to give tremendous depth at the guard and center spots. And maybe the best spot will be right guard where Brown and Castaneda will battle it out. Casteneda could probably be penciled in at left guard next year with Murphy and/or Stawarz playing the tackle spots. I don’t know about Thomas, although I liked him in the spring game.

Making it to the spring without any major injuries and having Okafor and Stawarz come on board has helped a ton. A ton (or maybe half a ton).

Freshman Impact?

I think it would be real tough to make an impact, but if I had to pick one, it would be Wheeler. He’s the least heralded of the offensive linemen, but he’s just about got the perfect frame and if Kaster goes down, I don’t know if Morales can fill it, but Wheeler is already bigger than Kaster and he hasn’t stepped foot on campus. Other than that, I don’t think that Akamnonu, Dyer, Steele or Ellison are ready. Again, if I had to pick one, and they were keeping guys at their spots, I’d probably go with Steele, who looks physically ready to play guard I think. It would be a long ways before he gets to play.

Come next year, you’re going to see some of the freshmen play some heavy snaps.

Expectations for 2015?

I’m expecting a dominating performance by the offensive line. This is a senior group and a very young group after the senior group. If the senior group stays healthy. Look out.


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