Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Look Ahead- Offensive Line

With a new staff it's impossible to say what the offensive line will look like this year simply because there's too many possible combos. But five veterans return who have to be considered the leaders going into spring practice. Redshirt junior Adam Bisnowaty has great size at 6'6" and 305 pounds. He can play guard or tackle, and may be better off at guard so it will be interesting if new offensive line coach John Peterson sees it that way, too. If he does move to guard then 6'7' 335 pound redshirt sophomore Jaryd Jones-Smith will likely move in to start at left tackle. Obviously his size and wingspan are perfect for the position so if would be huge for the offense if he can handle it at a high level. Former elite recruit Dorian Johnson is now a junior and it's time that the 6'5" 300 pound junior moves up to an all-star level instead of the part-time starter that he's been thus far.

The other two veteran starters are both centers that is a position that will very interesting to watch. Redshirt senior Artie Rowell is the heart and soul of the line, but the 6'2" 315 pound redshirt senior missed most of last year with an injury. Now he will have to take the job back from 6'4" 335 pound redshirt sophomore Alex Officer who has more talent and a higher upside than Rowell. It's always possible that Officer can move to guard.

There are many younger options that are promising but have yet to help yet. The one with the best pedigree is 6'6" 300 pound Alex Bookser who the Panthers managed to redshirt as a freshman last year. Perhaps equally promising is another local product that redshirted as a freshman last year, 6'6" 325 pound Mike Grimm.  Others in the mix include 6'5" 305 pound redshirt junior guard Gabe Roberts, 6'5" 330 pound redshirt sophomore Carson Baker, 6'5" 310 pound redshirt sophomore Aaron Reese, and 6'4" 290 pound redshirt freshman guard Connor Hayes. Incoming freshmen- 6'3" 300 pound center Alex Paulina, and 6'5" 315 pound tackle Tony Pilato- will redshirt.

Bottom line- The two lone all-stars for the Panthers- TJ Clemmings and Matt Rotheram- are gone. Others will have to step up to their level. Players like Jones-Smith, Johnson, Bisnowaty, Rowell, and Bookser have that ability, and at least a few better reach that higher level or the offensive line will regress. Potential is great, but performance is all that matters.


Talent:

Excellent
VERY GOOD
Good
Average
Poor


Depth:

Excellent
VERY GOOD
Good
Average
Poor

12 comments:

  1. Quite honestly I would move Johnson to center. H ehas teh athletic ability to play the position and has the size to handle interior DL's. Rowell might be the heart of the OL, but he's too small to keep putting oput there now that they have more talent at the position.

    Mike W.

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  2. I agree Johnson would make a great center

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  3. Smith-Biz-Officer-DJ-Bookser would be my 5, LtR. Or is the line better overall with Rowell at C, Officer at OG and DJ at RT. My guess is these 2 may be the most probable shake out. I think the former.

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  4. I personally believe we are better with Officer at the Center position because of his mobility. First off the bench is the Grimm road grader at any position except center. Gabe Roberts would be next followed by Baker. Have any of these fellas missed a meal?

    I hope they are all working on the jump rope for footwork and overall coordination as well as developing nasty dispositions. Will defenders be able to see Chris James? Overall grade is about right. Would like for Pitt to grab a 4 star OL next year to keep the momentum going. Any locals other than Ford? He hasn't been offered yet to my knowledge but is carrying about 290 pounds on a 6'5" frame.

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  5. I think Grimm needs to, and is going to play... Even if he doesn't start. Physically, he could have handled it last year, but obviously it was good for him to redshirt... At the very least, he should rotate at one of the guards.

    I know Bookser wants to play tackle... but is there any chance they take a look at him at DT?

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    1. I was thinking the same thing just based on the lack of depth they have on the DL. Bookser was just as good on defense as he was on offense in high school.

      Mike W.

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    2. There is zero chance that Bookser or Grimm will be moved to defense. They are elite OL. Even in Narduzzi's world, you don't screw with natural OLineman.

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    3. To be fair... they are elite prospects... that haven't touched the field or proven anything yet... far from untouchable.

      And Bookser was recruited just as much for DT as he was for OT.

      I'm not even in favor of it. Just curious more than anything, given the depth on the Oline, lack of it on Dline, and Bookser's pedigree on defense.

      Nobody is screwing with anyone, anyway. You make it sound like defense is an alien concept to these guys... Both of them played both ways in high school and were all stars?

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    4. Bookser definitely played DL in high school, Grimm I'm not sure but more than likely did. Bookser was a beast on the DL, and honestly has more of the athletic frame to move to defense, sort of the same as TJ Clemmings.

      While both were highly rated OL prospects, it's not a foreign concept for either to move to the other side of the ball. The idea is to get your best athletes on the field, not pigeon hole them into one specific position based on recruiting.


      Mike W.

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  6. I doubt that Bookser will move to DT. DT really isn't a big problem and Bookser has the ability to eventually be a big time LT.

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  7. Bookser was not a beast on the DL - or OL

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