We’re roughly one week into fall training camp and three weeks out from the start of the 2022 football season. Three weeks! This is not a drill, people. Real, live football will be played in just a few weeks. The offseason is almost officially behind us.
So what have we learned in the time since OSU began fall camp last week? And what does it mean ahead of the upcoming season?
I rounded up Marshall and Cox to get one observation, noteworthy development or thing we learned as camp continues to unfold.
Oh, where to start. Somebody will talk about the offensive line, so I’ll be brief. But, it feels like for the first time in a long time the Cowboys at least have options up front. Is anyone from that group better than Josh Sills or Danny Godlevske? That remains to be seen, but it finally feels like one injury isn’t going to tank the whole operation.
On defense, I’m most intrigued with all the pass rushers, but I’m also interested in how OSU looks at safety in 2022. If I had to guess right now, I’d say Jason Taylor, Kendal Daniels and Thomas Harper get the starting nods. That’s an exciting group, but after years and years of stability with guys like Kolby Harvell-Peel, Tre Sterling and Tanner McCalister, it’s hard to say OSU’s 2022 group will hit the ground in perfect stride.
I will go with just how deep the Cowboys are along the offensive line. We knew that the unit would look better in the fall than it did in the spring while a handful of should-be starters rehabbed from injuries. But Mike Gundy seemed pretty confident this last weekend when he was quoted as saying that the line is in better shape than it was at this time last year. There are still some rotations to be sorted out but it sounds like the Cowboys are close to having 10 different linemen that they can depend on. That’s a boon for an offense having to replace its star running back and with a dearth of experience at backup QB.
For me, it’s the running back hierarchy. Mike Gundy has said all offseason that with the departures of Dezmon Jackson and Jaylen Warren, OSU is likely to take a committee approach at the position. That said, it’s clear they value Dominic Richardson as the No. 1 option in said committee. He’s the most experienced runner of the bunch and has bulked up to borderline bell cow size at 6-foot and 210 pounds. I highly doubt we’ll see Richardson dominate the workload this season in the way Warren did last season, but if he gets 60% of the work and the quartet of Ollie Gordon, Jaden Nixon, Deondre Jackson and CJ Brown all split the remaining 40% in some way, it wouldn’t surprise me. I think there’s a chance one of Gordon, Nixon or Jackson earn more in the timeshare as the season progresses, but Richardson operating as the RB1 to open the season seems like a lock.