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2 minutes ago, victory88 said:

Yeah, I’m really excited about Jones and Hookfin.  I also remember quite a few people comparing Reese Moore to Connor Williams during his recruitment.  Obviously their talent isn’t the same but if Reese can put on good weight while maintaining his athleticism, we’ll have our fair share of athletic tackles for Hand to develop.

I also see people automatically sliding Tyler Johnson inside. Kid was highly recruited and I don't think he came to play guard. Competition is good. 

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4 minutes ago, Coach pop a bitch said:

I also see people automatically sliding Tyler Johnson inside. Kid was highly recruited and I don't think he came to play guard. Competition is good. 

I hope we don’t make the same mistake with Johnson as we did with Okafor.  Johnson has the ceiling to be an elite guard.  He may make a decent tackle as well but I hope we play him inside.  Junior was also evaluated as a tackle when we recruited him but he’s a damn good guard and he won’t be job as a RS frosh.  I hope we do the same with Johnson.

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On 5/23/2020 at 11:23 AM, Goodman said:

Hookfin is going to compete, he's here to play. Jones, Tyler, Johnson & Moore are going to compete. 

I'll be shocked and very nervous if Ghirmai plays here. I agree with Okafor and add Tope to biggest disappointments, they both look like NFL players but do not seem to have the mental capacity for the game. Not sure if that is coaching, they just do not have it in them or both.

 

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Posted (edited)

https://247sports.com/college/texas/article/texas-longhorns-football-patience-pay-off-ongoing-offensive-line-build-tom-herman-herb-hand-samuel-cosmi-derek-kerstetter-147509545/

 

Texas looking for patience to pay off in ongoing O-line build   Jeff Howe 247STAFF       May 25th

(Includes comments about the quality of ohio state o-line while Herman coached there along with RB Zeke Elliott)

Quote

After Tom Herman’s first season as Texas head coach, there was nowhere for the offensive line to trend other than upward.

The combination of D'Onta Foreman leaving school a year early and declaring for the 2017 NFL Draft and All-American tackle Connor Williams playing in only five regular-season games in 2017 due to a knee injury didn’t help matters. Nevertheless, the Longhorns finishing 95th nationally in rushing offense (139.6 yards per game), averaging the fewest yards per rushing attempt by any Texas team since 2002 (3.6) while ranking 103rd in the country in sacks allowed (2.62 per game) and 110th in tackles for loss allowed (6.92 per game) in Herman’s debut left a lot of room for improvement.

In a recent virtual chat with Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News, Herman examined how far the Longhorns have come in the trenches since then and how close they are to getting to where they want to be. Herman’s thoughts started with reflecting on the last national championship-winning line he coached when he was Ohio State’s offensive coordinator in 2014 and what the landscape looked like in Columbus when he arrived on the scene as a member of Urban Meyer’s initial staff.

“Our first year there, the players we inherited at Ohio State, I think three of them were drafted,” Herman said.

Herman's correct on the three draft picks. What's more impressive is the fact that the group of draftees Herman coached in 2012 doesn’t include Andrew Norwell of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who developed into an All-Pro guard with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent.

“Obviously, you move into the (2016 first-round pick) Taylor Decker’s of the world, who we recruited and wound up being a first-rounder,” Herman said. “We also had a guy named (running back) Ezekiel Elliott back there who was pretty good at covering up some deficiencies, if we had any in the offensive line.”

Of the linemen Herman inherited from the Charlie Strong regime, Williams ended the program’s decade-long drought of no offensive linemen getting drafted in 2018 when the Dallas Cowboys took him in the second round as an early entrant. Zach Shackelford was a two-time first-team All-Big 12 selection under Herman before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 draft in April.

Other than Denzel Okafor, who’s back in the fold as a fifth-year senior after flirting with transferring out of the program before ultimately deciding to return, the 2020 offensive line will be made up of players recruited entirely by Herman’s organization.

Samuel Cosmi (a projected first-round pick in the 2021 draft) and Derek Kerstetter were members of a transition class after the Longhorns flipped from Houston and Oklahoma State, respectively, ahead of National Signing Day in 2017. Junior Angilau was the highest-rated offensive line signee from the first wave of prospects Herman and Co. spent a full cycle recruiting to the Forty Acres in 2018.

The team’s three returning starters provide an impressive foundation from which offensive line coach Herb Hand can build out the rest of the starting lineup whenever the Longhorns get back on the field amid the coronavirus pandemic. Spearheaded by an experienced trio boasting a combined 66 career starts, Herman’s optimism comes through when he talks about how Texas feels “really good” regarding the current state of affairs along the offensive line.

“Kerstetter will be a four-year starter,” Herman said. “He was thrown into the fire as a true freshman and played admirably, he’s developed fine to the point where we feel like he’ll get an opportunity to play in the NFL, too.”

When the dust settles on the coming season, Hand’s ability to reach his charges as a teacher along with what Yancy McKnight’s strength program has done to develop the program’s young linemen who will be in the mix for the two open starting positions will determine the ultimate success (or failure) of the group.

In Herman’s tenure, Texas has only had to start one true freshman up front when Kerstetter logged 10 starts in 2017. Herman’s first season marked the sixth time in an eight-year stretch where the Longhorns had a true freshman offensive lineman start at least one game, a vicious cycle the current regime has been able to break by redshirting all of their prep offensive line signees over the last two seasons.

As a result, third-year sophomores Rafiti Ghirmai, Christian Jones and Reese Moore will be counted on to step up after getting two full seasons to learn the ropes and not get thrown into the fire as so many young Longhorn linemen who came before them experienced. The same was true for Tyler Johnson and Isaiah Hookfin in the 2019 signing class, who along with junior college transfer Willie Tyler got to sit back, watch and not be pressed into duty as newcomers last season.

The staff’s ability to manage the position from a development standpoint and get longstanding issues within the program headed in a position direction prop up Herman’s confidence in where Texas is headed up front offensively.

“That’s such a developmental position,” Herman said. “Very rarely do you see freshmen or redshirt freshmen or true sophomores starting at that position and unfortunately we’ve had to, but we’ll reap the benefits of that this year with Cosmi being a three-year starter and Kerstetter being a four-year starter [and] Angilau being a two-year starter.

“We feel like we’ll have some pretty good position battles for those other two spots.”

 

Dallas Morning News article "virtual chat" mentioned above...

https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/texas-longhorns/2020/05/15/qa-with-texas-longhorns-coach-tom-herman-what-it-will-take-to-dethrone-oklahoma-which-80s-movies-hes-showing-his-kids-and-more/

Edited by LTtxfan

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Scipio Tex: Putting Money Away On The OL/DL

Quote

I’m in the middle of writing the 8th Annual Thinking Texas Football preview. Aside from the fact that I get to stare way too long at a computer screen for 12 hours a day, it affords me the opportunity to dig into the football program at the macro and micro levels in every conceivable way. It was during this process last year that I began to have some insights on Orlando and the positional staff that allowed me to be the early driver on That Dog Won’t Hunt bus once I saw how we were going to play our 2019 cards.

This deep dive always reveals some good and bad, but one thing that’s trending well is the program’s ability to take the long view, put money in the developmental bank, and draw interest over a longer time period at some key developmental positions. I’ll explain. The Texas offensive line currently boasts 15 names.

Kerstetter
Cosmi
Angilau
Jones
Okafor
Johnson
Hookfin
Imade
Moore
Ghirmai
Tyler
Parr
Majors
Garth
Karic

Which of those things is not like the other?

..
...
....

Hint: you may add the letters RS (redshirt) after every single one of those names save one. That would be jack-of-all-trades Derek Kerstetter. The 2017 bulldog puppy we threw into a swimming pool and wished him luck. While technically there has no been determination made on the four incoming freshmen, I have 95% confidence that RS will be added after their names too.

When 14/15 offensive linemen in your program redshirt, you’re putting money in the bank instead of leasing a car with the money from your home equity loan. You’re building on a solid foundation instead of a Jenga of debt. Even when immediate needs are dire and a staff sells itself in the moment that a true freshman offensive lineman might swing a game result, it is important to understand that once you start overspending on your credit card instead of putting money in savings, you’re never going to get on the positive side of the ledger. At some point, you have to take your lumps and do what’s right for the long term viability of the program.

Tom Herman, whatever his other faults, has done that. In fact, he has even redshirted offensive linemen who had already progressed in eligibility in an attempt to set back the clock on developmental time. In 2016, Charlie Strong pissed away Denzel Okafor’s freshman year with a handful of puzzling snaps that precluded him from redshirting. Little wonder Okafor struggled in 2017 when thrust disastrously into a starting role at tackle. In an attempt to reclaim his developmental timeline, the staff wisely redshirted him in 2018 - his third year in the program - even though Texas lacked offensive line depth. Okafor could have helped us a bit in 2018, but putting him into savings means he might really help us in 2020. This year, a 5th year senior Okafor will have a chance to compete for the starting right guard position. A player that once drew fan ire in 2018 may be in line for a Gaskamp Award.

Defensive line is a different beast with varied developmental timelines in all phases, but whenever possible for certain DL archetypes, it’s always useful to gain a year of interest. Redshirting players as diverse as Keondre Coburn, Moro Ojomo, and Myron Warren was a positive. Coburn might have helped in bursts as a true freshman, but he badly needed conditioning to meet his long term upside. Young Ojomo, who started kindergarten while still in the womb, needed simple seasoning. Myron Warren needs the time to transform from a bouncy (trademark @Eric Nahlin ) edge rushing tomahawk dunker into a 290 pound 3 technique. Peter Mpagi was also the right instinct, but you can’t control for health. Who knows what Daniel Carson could become as a 5th year senior?

Mind you, the first three key redshirts happened against the backdrop of Charlie Strong’s disastrous 2016 DL recruiting class that was supposed to solve all DL problems for eternity. Wilbon, Southall, Christmas, Daniels and Elliott solved few problems and created many. Being able to strategically redshirt anyone on the defensive line from 2017-2019 is a triumph given that boondoggle.

Broughton and Collins will be a fascinating case study in how to manage the short, medium and long term view. Texas has a good defensive line with legitimate depth. But those two are pretty special. What’s the best approach? Beyond just physical readiness, there is also an element of managing their expectations and happiness. Can’t bank an investment that does an ACH transfer, but you also don’t want to piss away a season on 60 snaps. Putting on pads in August will help clarify the matter quickly.

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm assuming the 2 new starters starting out will be Jones at RT and Okafor at RG, any chance one or both of these gets unseated??  Does Tyler Johnson make the jump and start as a RS Fr like Cosmi 2 years ago and Junior last year?  Is Willie Tyler ready to be a road grader at Guard?  Is Hoofkin ready or does he need another year?

I'm also basing this off Kerstetter gets moved to Center, unless Ghirmai is absolutely ready.

Edited by Elmer_Fudd

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I'm assuming the 2 new starters starting out will be Jones at RT and Okafor at RG, any chance one or both of these gets unseated??  Does Tyler Johnson make the jump and start as a RS Fr like Cosmi 2 years ago and Junior last year?  Is Willie Tyler ready to be a road grader at Guard?  Is Hoofkin ready or does he need another year?
I'm also basing this off Kerstetter gets moved to Center, unless Ghirmai is absolutely ready.
Thoughts on Reese Moore, I know he was on the long road of development but curios how he looks after a few years in the program.

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7 minutes ago, Mother mopar said:
56 minutes ago, Elmer_Fudd said:
I'm assuming the 2 new starters starting out will be Jones at RT and Okafor at RG, any chance one or both of these gets unseated??  Does Tyler Johnson make the jump and start as a RS Fr like Cosmi 2 years ago and Junior last year?  Is Willie Tyler ready to be a road grader at Guard?  Is Hoofkin ready or does he need another year?
I'm also basing this off Kerstetter gets moved to Center, unless Ghirmai is absolutely ready.

Read more  

Thoughts on Reese Moore, I know he was on the long road of development but curios how he looks after a few years in the program.

He's still adding weight so that next season he can carry Tommy Brockmeyers shoulder pads.

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3 hours ago, Elmer_Fudd said:

I'm assuming the 2 new starters starting out will be Jones at RT and Okafor at RG, any chance one or both of these gets unseated??  Does Tyler Johnson make the jump and start as a RS Fr like Cosmi 2 years ago and Junior last year?  Is Willie Tyler ready to be a road grader at Guard?  Is Hoofkin ready or does he need another year?

I'm also basing this off Kerstetter gets moved to Center, unless Ghirmai is absolutely ready.

I would hope that the 2019 class get some playing time, but they would have to be clearly better than the upperclassmen to make it into the 2 deep. Junior was better than Imade, and Okafor was RS'ing. The OL really didn't have the luxury not playing Junior last year.

I think the OL would be more consistent year to year, if players in the 3rd season on campus are making the 2 deep, and by 2 deep I mean 6-8 that actually play during the important reps of the game.

Kerstetter is definitely the center. The fall off from him to Ghirmai is probably much higher than the fall off from him and the next RT.

Taken into account that generally Hand likes to play 5-8 guys per game, you have Cosmi, Kerstetter, Angilau, Okafor, Imade, Jones, Moore, and Ghirmai all in their 3rd year+ on campus.

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3 hours ago, HtownHorn said:

Taken into account that generally Hand likes to play 5-8 guys per game

I think that was the result of not having five clear starters, and a less than ideal situation.  I doubt that any OL coach wants to have to play eight guys. 

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Posted (edited)

https://247sports.com/college/texas/Article/Texas-Longhorns-football-predicting-starting-offensive-line-for-2020-college-football-season-148281279/

Who will be the starting five on the offensive line come the Sept. 5 season opener?

Bobby Burton, Publisher

Going left to right, give me the following five: Samuel Cosmi, Junior Angilau, Derek Kerstetter, Denzel Okafor and Christian Jones. I think the two wild cards are Willie Tyler and Tyler Johnson. If either of those two step forward, then Okafor and Jones are going to have serious competition at guard and tackle, respectively. For the first time in so long, this OL should be a team strength and have depth. It truly is one of the biggest accomplishments of Tom Herman’s tenure, which makes the current OL recruiting issue somewhat crazy.

FUCK CHIP BROWN

Obviously, two of the best position battles going into fall camp involve the two vacancies created on the offensive line by the departures of All-Big 12 center Zach Shackelford and left guard Parker Braun.

With Derek Kerstetter moving from right tackle to center and Junior Angilau possibly moving from right to left guard, the vacancies are likely to be on the right side of the line.

So here's my projected starting five on the O-line as of right now:

Samuel Cosmi at left tackle, Angilau at left guard, Kerstetter at center, Denzel Okafor at right guard and Christian Jones at right tackle.

Tope Imade and Willie Tyler should have something to say in the battle at guard, and Tyler Johnson and Reese Moore should have something to say in the battle at right tackle. I may need to adjust my projection as camp gets under way!

Jeff Howe, Senior Writer

I think the starting offensive line on Sept. 5 will look as follows (left to right): Samuel Cosmi, Junior Angilau, Derek Kerstetter, Denzel Okafor and Christian Jones.

What I think would be best for the Longhorns, however, would be if Rafiti Ghirmai proves capable to be the starting center. The more flexibility Herb Hand has to use Kerstetter wherever he’s needed as opposed to forcing him to play a position strictly out of need would make the group stronger (again, assuming Ghirmai is ready to take on a starting role).

Ghirmai at center means Hand would then be able to decide whether Jones, Okafor, Tope Imade or Willie Tyler (in all likelihood, those would be the four guys vying for one spot) is most equipped to occupy a starting role. Kerstetter has started at both spots on the right side of the line, so Hand could then pick the best player, plug Kerstetter into the fifth spot and be ready to roll into a game with a starting unit that everyone in the building should feel good about putting on the field.

Taylor Estes, Managing Editor

I imagine the starting five on the offensive line will look like this come the season opener: Left tackle Samuel Cosmi, left guard Junior Angilau, center Derek Kerstetter, right guard Denzel Okafor and, for a wildcard pick, I’m going with Tyler Johnson at right tackle. The right side of the line is likely to be the one with the most battles for starting roles. If Okafor, as a fifth-year senior, is even remotely a question and Willie Tyler steps up, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tyler take over for Okafor at right guard.

Mike Roach, Recruiting Analyst

At left tackle the only answer is Sam Cosmi. He’s the best player in the unit and a future NFL pick. Left guard would be Junior Angilau following a promising year last season. I would say Derek Kerstetter at center where he has experience and could be a stabilizing force. The right side of the line will likely be a question mark. Denzel Okafor makes sense at right guard from an experience standpoint but Willie Tyler could push him. I’d like to see Tyler Johnson or Christian Jones get a shot at right tackle. 

Nick Harris, Recruiting Reporter

LT: Samuel Cosmi

LG: Tope Imade

C: Derek Kerstetter

RG: Junior Angilau

RT: Denzel Okafor

Cosmi and Kerstetter are the no-brainers here as they are two of the best returning linemen in the conference. I think the experience of Tope Imade wins over Tyler Johnson for the LG spot while Angilau and Okafor man down the right side of the line.

 

Edited by LTtxfan

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I don't know if I ever recall hearing of a highly rated tackle moving to center as the skill sets are a pretty different, but that seems to be all the talk around Kerstetter. Makes you really wonder if the coaches are going to do what they can to keep him at tackle.

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35 minutes ago, Sock Monkey said:

I don't know if I ever recall hearing of a highly rated tackle moving to center as the skill sets are a pretty different, but that seems to be all the talk around Kerstetter. Makes you really wonder if the coaches are going to do what they can to keep him at tackle.

He was the best center on the team the last few years. He will be progress in the vs. what took place in the 2019 ou/baylor games.

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12 minutes ago, Red Five said:

They'd probably also rather have Christian Jones at RT than Ghirmai at center. 

Hope Kerstetter stays healthy... having a better center this season would really improve the Horns O-line.  

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16 hours ago, Sock Monkey said:

I don't know if I ever recall hearing of a highly rated tackle moving to center as the skill sets are a pretty different, but that seems to be all the talk around Kerstetter. Makes you really wonder if the coaches are going to do what they can to keep him at tackle.

Pretty sure Barrett Jones did something similar at Alabama

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Atticus said:

Pretty sure Barrett Jones did something similar at Alabama

Good Call @Atticus 

https://www.espn.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/41666/barrett-jones-prepares-for-another-change

Poor choice of words below by McCarron 😁

 

"Barrett Jones prepares for another change"

Apr 11, 2012  Mark Schlabach   ESPN Senior Writer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- In his first season as Alabama’s starting right guard in 2009, Barrett Jones helped the Crimson Tide finish 14-0 and win a BCS national championship.  After moving to left tackle last season, Jones was named an All-American and won the Outland Trophy as college football’s top lineman. He also helped the Crimson Tide win their second BCS national title in three seasons, defeating LSU 21-0 in the Jan. 9 BCS National Championship Game.

Barrett Jones will move to center for the Crimson Tide in 2012.   Now Jones, a senior from Germantown, Tenn., is moving to center, where he’ll replace the departed William Vlachos, a three-year starter, who was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy as the country’s top center last season.     “I think you’ve got to think about how can we make our team the best,” Jones said. “Our philosophy around here has always been to play the best five. I think in order to do that this year, I’m going to have to play center. That’s fine with me.”

The Crimson Tide will bring back four of five starters on the offensive line in 2012. With Jones moving to center, highly regarded sophomore Cyrus Kouandjio takes over at left tackle, where he’ll protect quarterback AJ McCarron’s blind side. Kouandjio, from Hyattsville, Md., suffered a torn ACL in his knee eight games into his freshman season in 2011.

Each of Alabama’s projected five starting offensive linemen weighs more than 300 pounds. McCarron bought them dinner before two scrimmages this spring, dropping about $200 at a wings restaurant and about $300 at a Japanese steak house.      “I’ll take them out as long as they protect me, but good Lord,” McCarron said.

Even though Jones is Alabama’s most decorated tackle, he was the most logical candidate to change positions. Guards Anthony Steen and Chance Warmack are back, along with right tackle D.J. Fluker.   “This is really my first year to have the reigns,” Jones said. “It’s a really big adjustment. Not being off the ball is probably the biggest adjustment for you. The guy is just right there, probably not 2 inches from your hands, especially when you’re playing our 3-4 [defense]. It’s a big adjustment, but it’s gone well and I think I’m progressing well. Hopefully, I’ll have a big year.”

McCarron said the transition hasn’t been perfect during spring practice, but Jones is growing into his new position.   “I ride Barrett harder than anybody,” McCarron said. “He’s learning. He’s never done it before. He gets mad sometimes if things aren’t perfect, but there are going to be some speed bumps along the way. He’s gotten a lot better since we started. Knowing him, he’s going to continue to get better. I’m not worried about him at all.”

Jones, 6-foot-5 and 311 pounds, has never played center before. Playing three different positions in college only figures to help his stock in the NFL draft.    “I think as far as the next level, it will only help me in terms of versatility and being able to play multiple positions,” Jones said. “You think about what’s best for the team and not just for one player.”

 

Edited by LTtxfan

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