The success of any attack depends on the play of its offensive line. And the challenge of an offensive line in the Big Ten is finding people who can first and foremost match the speed and power of the defenses they’ll face almost every Saturday. Equally important is that your offensive line functions as a singular entity —- instinctively knowing what other members of the line are doing and acting and reacting as a group. Some have described it as the âElephant Danceâ, a choreographed movement of organized chaos.
Last year, Rutgers’ defensive line played outstanding football while the offensive line was a work in progress, albeit improving. The development of the offensive line since last fall will go a long way in determining the Scarlet Knights’ fortunes this fall.
This was echoed by Greg Schiano at Tuesday’s press conference. âThis is probably the group that is the most in the air, and I don’t mind saying that. It will be a great competition. Schiano added: “” There are a lot more physically capable guys than we have had before, and some of them are the same guys – they just changed bodies and really got into a position to play the post in the Big Dix. It’s a tough, tough place to play in the Big Ten. The problem is, we need them to be really good now and the offensive line is probably the position that takes the longest to develop.
With the exception of David Nwaogwugwu, the transfer of Temple and Hollin Pierce on 2sd player of the year with a ton of potential, the offensive line will be very similar to the group that occupied the trenches last season. Below is a comparison of the starting lineup last year against Michigan State versus the starting lineup that I think is scheduled for September 2nd.sd match against Temple.
Size matters when it comes to power-five football. According to a 2019 article from Crescent City Sports, a New Orleans-based publication, the average starting offensive lineman was 6-foot-4, 306 pounds. By the article, the average height and weight of the Big Ten offensive lineman was 6’4 ” and 310.7 lbs.
Looking at the projected offensive line for the Scarlet Knight, the average height is 6’4.5 “and 309 pounds. Added projected key reserves of Hollin Pierce (6’8″ / 325), Brendan Bordner (6’5 ” / 315), Bryan Felter (6’3 “/ 315), Sam Vretman (6’6” / 300) and CJ Hanson (6’5 “/ 310), average height and weight are 6’5.4 “/ 313.
As the above shows, any combination of offensive linemen on the pitch matches both size and height with other Big Ten offensive lines. The trick is to play as a cohesive unit and to that end, most Scarlet Knights offensive linemen will have the benefit of a year playing together and the consistency and stability of the same staff. ‘coaches.
Greg Schiano and his coaching staff – primarily offensive line coach Andrew Aurich and offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson will spend training camp honing technique and conditioning while reviewing combinations for the regular season. This will continue at training camp. “Our goal is to put the top five offensive linemen on opening night of the field,” Schiano said Friday during Big Ten Media Days in Indianapolis. âSo some guys give us positional flexibility and we’ll move them around to create the top five. It’s really a bit like a Rubik’s Cube.
OL will be led by Nick Krimin who is returning for his sixth season. In 2019, Krimin started every game on the right tackle. Last season, Krimin moved to center and was arguably Rutgers’ most consistent offensive lineman. âNick is someone who gives us some flexibility of position on the inside,â said Greg Schiano. âHe was moved. He has work at the guard and he has work at the center. ”
One of OL’s most interesting players is Hollin Pierce. Pierce who is listed at 6’8 and 325 pounds bringing exceptional size and long arms to OL. Pierce joined the team ahead of the 2020 season and made a good impression right away. âHe’s a very tall man who is very athletic,â Schiano said of Pierce. âHe’s young. He’s inexperienced, but we try to get him to experience as quickly as possible because he has a lot of potential. Really a great guy to have in our team. A nice guy and he goes really strong. great future.
While some Scarlet Knight fans believe the offensive line is a major concern as the Temple game draws closer, the size, experience, and training are all in place. All that remains is to assemble the right parts.