Ed. Note: The black box next to a player is a full year of eligibility remaining and the grey box means that they had a redshirt available. For example, Breiden Fehoko played as a true freshman, but he still has a redshirt year available to him, much like Dylan Cantrell took this year.
|Conner Dyer||Redshirt Freshman||6-4/268|
|Cody Wheeler||Redshirt Freshman||6-4/293|
|Trace Ellison||Redshirt Freshman||6-4/294|
|Madison Akamnonu||Redshirt Freshman||6-5/295|
|Terence Steele||Redshirt Freshman||6-6/285|
|Grant Caravelli||Redshirt Freshman||6-3/290|
I decided to divide this up a bit differently. I think this is how Lee Hays thinks about guys. Are they inside or outside. For the most part, they are pretty interchangeable after the inside or outside designation. These redshirt freshmen designations (for both the inside and outside players) are entirely thanks to Don Williams who took a look at these players and talked to Hays about where they would end up. I’ve also got nothing on the walk-ons and have no idea about them.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see Castaneda start at center next year with Brown at the left guard to take over for Alfredo Morales and the right guard to-be-determined. There will be options, but it seems like Ellison has the requisite weight, while Dyer, depending on how his redshirt season went, may simply not be big enough to play inside just yet. For me, I think Brown is better on the inside, so some combination of Castaneda and Brown at guard and I’m not sure about how goes at center. That could be Castaneda.
Tony Morales is in this group because he is attempting to get an additional year of eligibility with all of his injuries. Tony struggled mightily this year as a fill-in for injuries so I don’t know how much he would be able to play if he does get a 6th year. He gives full effort, but he’s got to work on quickness and strength. The only other guy not discussed is Wheeler, who is supposed to be a project and needs to work on mobility more than anything else, although he is projected at center.
This is where we are about to see what these guys are made of, especially after losing Le’Raven Clark on the left side. The one guy that wasn’t as highly rated, Steele, might have the inside edge on the spot. Don Williams noted that Steele was young entering Texas Tech, so he might have a ton of room to grow as a redshirt. One of the best players of last year’s class, Akamnonu, is also battling for a tackle spot. Justin Murphy is returning from a knee injury that kept him out for a good portion of the season. Murphy proved to be incredibly valuable at
left tackle right guard and was very good. I think he comes back at a tackle spot. The line was noticeably worse without Murphy. The one guy that we don’t know all that much about is Stawarz, who was a late signee and I think he came in as a sophomore, with no redshirt taken at JUCO and that means I think he has three years remaining, which is terrific. My guess is that Stawarz can flip between the inside and outside, a lot like Brown, but is probably better inside.