Indiana Football: Previewing the O-Line

Most successful college football teams are strong in several different aspects. To be strong at a certain aspect, a team must be strong at certain positions. Indiana University’s football team has recently been fairly strong offensively. Although they do have plenty of talent at the skilled positions on offense (wide receiver, quarterback and running back), the offensive anchor is their offensive line.

As head coach Kevin Wilson and the Indiana football team hope to increase their win total to become bowl eligible in 2014, let’s look at how great their offensive line is and can be.

IU’s offensive line is extremely talented and experienced. They are big, strong, and versatile enough to be a perfect within Wilson’s up-tempo, spread offense.

Jason Spriggs will return as the starter at the left tackle position. The 6-foot-7, 305-pound junior is unquestionably the most talented of the group, and has plenty of experience as he has been the starter since the start of his true freshman season in 2012. Spriggs will most likely have a chance to play in the NFL after this season or the next.

Redshirt sophomore Dimitric Camiel is projected to be Spriggs’ backup. The 6-foot-7, 315-pounder certainly has the size to be a great left tackle, but he has little experience and will only see the field as a starter if Spriggs were to get injured.

Peyton Eckert is projected to start at right tackle. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound redshirt junior will take back his starting spot after missing last season with a back injury. Redshirt junior Ralston Evans is projected to be Eckert’s backup, although it is fathomable that the 6-foot-4, 295-pounder could see some playing time due to his strong play in Eckert’s absence. Eckert will most likely start and keep his job, but Evans is talented enough to get some playing time on special teams or as the first lineman off of the bench.

Junior David Kaminski started the first five games of the 2013 season at left guard, but missed the rest of the season with a severe knee injury. Senior Bernard Taylor is projected to start at the left guard position in 2014. The 6-foot-2, 305-pounder missed much of 2012 due to a season-ending injury, but he came back and had solid play in Kaminski’s absence.

Redshirt sophomore Wes Rogers (6-foot-4 and 300 pounds) is projected to be Taylor’s backup instead of Kaminski. This is most likely due to Kaminski not being fully healed from his injury, but if he does become fully healthy during the season, he will likely see some playing time.

Indiana Football

Indiana Football Stadium

Dan Feeney will start at the other guard position in 2014. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound redshirt sophomore looks to be completely back from the foot injury that he suffered last year. Jacob Bailey (6-foot-5 and 305 pounds) will be backing Feeney up. The redshirt sophomore also has some game experience as he saw some significant playing time due to Feeney’s injury.

Collin Rahrig will return as the Hoosiers’ starting center. The 6-foot-2, 290-pound senior will be counted on to be the offensive line’s leader, which has done a tremendous job at during his time at IU. Redshirt junior Jake Reed (6-foot-4 and 295 pounds) will be the backup center. Reed is another lineman who has significant game experience, and has shown some versatility by being able to play multiple offensive line positions.

Although IU’s offensive line has been plagued with injuries, their talent and depth have helped them persevere. IU set single-season records in total yards (6,102), points scored (461), passing touchdowns (36), and total touchdowns (62). All of those statistics were accomplished with an almost completely dismantled offensive line. If completely healthy, I would put this offensive line up against the best in the nation. If they can be successful through multiple injuries and without help from a poor defense, it is easy to believe that they can help produce some of the best offensive statistics in all of college football.