Offensive line a plus
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is pumped about next season’s offensive line.
— Oklahoma State’s offensive line was going through drills on the far end of the Sherman Smith Training Center while coach Mike Gundy offered his thoughts about how good that group could be next fall.
Well, not that specific group. Not all of them anyway.
The five offensive linemen who were working as the first team that day at a spring practice in the middle of April included maybe two players who will start when Missouri State arrives at Boone Pickens Stadium on Sept. 1.
Yet Gundy’s outlook wasn’t tempered.
“I would be shocked if our offensive line play is not better than it was last year,” Gundy said.
“The potential six guys who could play the majority of the first few games have enough experience, strength and expertise to be successful, in my opinion.”
For the majority of spring practice, the offensive line consisted of Johnny Wilson at center, Shane Richards and Deionte Noel at guards, Teven Jenkins and Arlington Hambright at tackles.
Richards and Hambright redshirted last year. Noel played sparingly in a backup role. Jenkins filled in for injured starters on a couple of occasions. Only Wilson started more than a couple times, filling in for Brad Lundblade at center, then taking over at right guard to serve as a starter for the majority of Big 12 play.
So the experience of the spring crew wasn’t extensive. But that will change in fall.
Marcus Keyes, a twoyear starter at left guard, was out after shoulder surgery. Right guard Larry Williams was out awaiting an NCAA rule change that resulted in him being granted a sixth year of eligibility.
Dylan Galloway, who was the backup at left tackle and will compete with Hambright for the starting job in fall, was also out following shoulder surgery.
Keyes, a junior with more than 20 starts under his belt, had to adjust to being on the sidelines for the spring.
“It was kinda weird sitting down and not getting into the action,” he said. “But I understand I had to get healthy and get my arm back together. I was there to teach the young guys what they can do to get better.
“With Larry coming back, we’re gonna have a great offensive line. We’ll just get better as a group. Stronger, tougher, and now that he’s back, we have another leader to help the young guys.”
Williams had to sit and watch as he awaited the NCAA vote on a rule change, which occurred 10 days before OSU closed spring practice.
His sixth year was approved just a few days before the spring game, but he didn’t get the chance to get involved in any team activities.
“It was tough, because I’ve had the same feeling since I got hurt, not knowing what’s gonna happen, which direction I’m heading,” Williams said.
“The feelings were different every day. Some days I was positive, some days I was negative. It caught me at a bad spot. I wasn’t myself. I felt like I was part of something, but I wasn’t part of something. I’m excited that it’s official.”
Oklahoma State’s Larry Williams, left, was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA and will return to his starting spot, boosting the talent of the Cowboys’ offensive line next fall.