Mike Gundy’s best football teams have been built from the interior out. The 2011 team had Levy Adcock and Lane Taylor helping plow open holes up front. The 2009 team had Adcock, Taylor and Russell Okung. And while 2021 likely doesn’t have those types of talents in the trenches, the outlook is bright.
Let’s get to the OL preview as we continue our position-by-position preview series ahead of fall camp.
Returning starters: Josh Sills, Hunter Anthony, Cole Birmingham
Sills is the headline name here. He started 11 games last season which was the exception in 2020, with injuries piling up across the front line. But Anthony and Birmingham were opening-day starters in 2020 before injuries knocked them out for most of the season. They should be in line to retake their roles as first-unit guys up front this season.
Key transfers: Caleb Etienne, Danny Godlevske
Godlevske is a Miami (OH) standout who is set to compete for the starting center position this season after transferring ahead of spring ball. Etienne is a 6-foot-8 (!) tackle/power forward who could push for a starting role at one of the tackle spots. OSU did well in the transfer market, and both of these guys figure to be at worst rotation linemen — and potentially two of the five-man starting lineup.
Key depth: Cade Bennett, Hunter Woodard, Preston Wilson, Jake Springfield, Tyrese Williams, Eli Russ, Joe Michalski
Tyrese Williams played in five games last season for OSU. Jake Springfield started in nine of 11 games last season. OSU desperately needed to dip into its reserves last season because of an anomalous amount of injuries and attrition, but the depth is so good and so deep it has OSU’s unit looking to be in great shape in 2021.
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