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Purdue Football: Offensive Line Breakdown

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A quick breakdown of the Offensive Line.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There are a lot of questions in regard to the offensive line.

For starters, who is going to be the first five up front?

The the next question is, who will be our back ups? How good will our depth be? It seems like it has been forever since we have had a consistent offensive line. for consecutive years. It would have been nice to return Martesse Patterson, but he had other plans. So, here we are again, late spring, knowing about one starter on the offensive line.

Kirk Barron will man the middle of the line at center, if he can be good, like really really good, we might be okay. Centers can make everyone around them better, literally by telling them exactly what to do.

This is probably a bad example and I will get laughed at, but the Colts offensive line last year improved drastically, just by adding Ryan Kelly to the middle of the line. They were still pretty bad for the first half of the season last year too, as he was adjusting to the speed of the game, but, if you look at the back half of the year they improved a lot.

That is how important a good center can be, hopefully Kirk Barron can be that guy. I will give it a shot in the dark of who could be the starters, but, it will probably be an ever changing landscape week to week.

Starters:

Left Tackle - Grant Hermanns, 6’7”, 295 pounds, Freshman RS

Hermanns is a pretty raw prospect, but has a super high ceiling. Drew loves him, he was a state champion wrestler when he was in high school. He has some pretty good hips and can move really well. He came in really thin last year, but has put on some good weight. In the spring game, he got in a little but of a tussle on the field, which I love, being mean big guy, be mean.

Left Guard - Michael Mendez, 6’4”, 295 Pounds, Sophomore

Mendez is a big strong kid. He has a nice build. Mendez was a late addition to the last Hazell recruiting class. Last season, he actually played quite a bit. Early in the spring, he wasn’t at a couple practices, which terrified me, as we need him next to Kirk.

Center - Kirk Barron, 6’2” 305 Pounds, Junior RS

Kirk is the leader of this line, as I was gloating about him above. He is a really nice center build, low to the ground, thick and strong as hell. He is one of the few Indiana commits that Hazell got during his time at Purdue.

Right Guard - UHHH, Eric Swingler, 6’5”, 310 Pounds, Junior RS

Eric is a former walk on in 2014. Yes, a walk on. But he has gotten really strong and had just gets better every day. Coachable kids will get on the field. If he can stay healthy, he will be a big contributor to the offensive line. He is the size of a tackle, but moves more like a guard. I like him a lot.

Right Tackle - Matt McCann, 6’6” 325 Pounds, Sophomore

Big Matt McCann from Indianapolis started from day one as a freshman last season. He is a road grater and will get better in pass protection. At Bishop Chatard, they rarely passed the ball, especially with how good he was with his run blocking. He will continue to improve and will be a 4 year starter when he is done with his career.

Reserves:

Tackle - Ethan Smart, 6’6” 290 Pounds, Junior (JuCo)

Possible contributor on the offensive line.

Guard - Peyton Truitt, 6’5”, 290 Pounds, Sophomore RS

If injuries occur, could get pushed into some playing time.

Guard - Ryan Flaherty, 6’5”, 300 Pounds, Freshman RS (Walk on)

Guard - Bryce Brown, 6’1”, 270 Pounds, Freshman RS (Walk on)

Tackle/Guard - Sam Loebig, 6’3”, 315 Pounds, Freshman RS (Walk on)

Tackle/Guard - Johnny Daniels, 6’3”, 300 Pounds, Senior RS

5th year guy, unsure where he will be on the depth chart.

Guard - Bearooz Yacoobi, 6’5”, 300 Pounds, Junior RS

Hasn’t found the field in his career yet, but has the best name on the team.

Tackle - Jalen Neal, 6’8”, 310 Pounds, Senior

Gigantic human being, but is so slow out of his stance. In the spring game he gave up 2 or 3 sacks to Rob Simmons.

Tackle - Tanner Hawthorne, 6’6”, 280 Pounds, Freshman RS

Could be pushed into a role to add depth to the offensive line.

Incoming Freshman:

Tackle/Guard - Viktor Beach, 6’5”, 295 Pounds, 3*

I think he has the potential of playing right away at a guard spot, pushing Eric Swingler for a starting spot. He is a road grater type of lineman also, would be a nice right side of the line with he and McCann.

Tackle - Mark Stickford, 6’6”, 270 Pounds, 3*

Has gotten a lot stronger during his high school years. He was a Tight End his sophomore year, but was a dominate LT for Carmel his last two season. Probably a redshirt candidate.

Tackle - DeShon Washington, 6’5”, 275 Pounds, 2*

Prime Redshirt candidate. A recruit poached from Western Kentucky. He needs to get a lot stronger before he plays regularly.

I mean, we have a lot of bodies, but how good are they? I actually don’t mind the starting 5. They are big strong dudes, and relatively young, so next season, we could return all 5 starters. Like I said, the offensive line is pretty much guess work at this point, but that is what I think could happen.