Now is where depth will get tested - OL | Syracusefan.com

Now is where depth will get tested - OL

RF2044

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In the preseason, I made a post that broke down all of the positional units, noting that we had an unusual level of quality / depth, compared to what we've seen for the past decade. That included an OL that could go 10 deep [with Petry's development]. They were:

  1. Cruz, Jr.
  2. Bleich
  3. Reed
  4. Ellis
  5. More
  6. Wolabaugh
  7. Ilaoa
  8. Bradford
  9. Cruz
  10. Petry
Well, now that depth is tested. We've lost a starter [Wohlabaugh] and had two guys who were in-line to start [Ellis / More] in walking boots. Neither has suited up this season. So now that 10 looks like this:

  1. Cruz, Jr.
  2. Bleich
  3. Reed
  4. Bradford
  5. Petry
  6. Ilaoa
  7. Cruz
  8. More
  9. Ellis
  10. Wohlabaugh

More might be close to returning. Not sure about Ellis. Wohlabaugh looks like he sustained a long-term injury, and could be done for the year.

Which means that we need to find a new starting RT, fast, with a big game at Purdue coming up. Here's the candidates:

More was a starter at RT at Richmond [FCS level], and transferred here to play P5 ball. He got a lot of run with the starting OL in preseason camp, but pushed in to RG to accommodate Wohlabaugh. Might he shift back outside?

Petry was supposed to be a "break-glass-in-case-of-emergency" depth guy, but he's put on 15 pounds and per the coaching staff has really elevated his level of play. Now, he's a guy who the coaches seem confident in playing. Can play both RT and LT.

Cruz has gotten run as both a G and a T. True sophomore.

Here's my guess: unless the coaching staff is rock solid sold on More, I think you have to start Petry this next game as the short term solution. I don't think you want to give More his first dose of PT on the road, in a must-win game, when he hasn't played a snap yet.

More probably projects as the best long-term solution there, once he gets back into pads and gets a few snaps under his belt. Petry then shifts back to the second unit, where his positional versatility helps to overcome lack of depth.

Something else to note -- I noticed true frosh T. Mack out there in the 4th quarter. Not sure if he projects as a guard or tackle, but I wonder if he now gets worked in to help boost depth. Kid is a physical specimen, if nothing else.

Hope the OL position stabilizes. If this type of situation had occurred the previous three years, we'd be sunk. Now it seems like we can weather the storm.
 

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