As I was reflecting on the truly horrific season we just witnessed I was trying to think of positives to take away from this season. This led me to Molk, who I believe had a very good season as rs frosh center. I do not recall a single bad snap the entire year, which is remarkable coming from any center considering 95%+ of the snaps were to the shotgun.
I think the o-line, in general, is cause for optimism. Molk is a RS freshman, Schilling is sophomore, and Ferrara is a sophomore - and they all improved pretty decently. Mooseman is probably our best lineman, but he'll be senior next year. We just need to find a way to never play Ortmann or McAvoy again.
keep in mind that we were able to run the ball effectively without the benefit of the pass. No defense had to fear our passing game, and could stack agaisnt the run, and we were still able to run decently. I was very encouraged by Ferrara, his motor was always running, and he was always running downfiled looking to pick up another block.
We had no real running threat at the QB position... so very few had to respect the potential keeper. That too seems like a CRITICAL apect of this offense.
....that Ferrara has us optimistic about his future role on the OL.
Although we were ready to scratch our eyes out a couple months ago at the prospect of him playing on the OL.
Give him another off season of learning the position, and he will be solid.
Our OL was an F the first half of the season.....I think they elevated to a C by the end.
Another off season of training combined with talent upgrades that some of the Redshirt Frosh, like Barnum, will offer and I have high hopes for the line.
I was optimistic about Ferrara's play at DT as well. I just think he's a good football player. I did see him whiff on some blocks this year, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. I think there's a good chance he starts next year. I think most of the freshmen will remain on the bench next year. The line started to gel in the running game, and they pass blocked pretty well this year. They did allow a couple bad sacks against 3-man lines against OSU and Purdue, but other than that, the only time "they" looked bad was when Sheridan held the ball for 30 seconds.
We started 3 sophs, one of whom literally had no idea what he was doing when he first got out there, and we saw visible progress. That's good.
And we have 6 guys coming off a redshirt season waiting in the wings to contribute where they need to next year. That's the way it should be with our lineman, RS their first year, contribute as a back-up your RS-freshman year, then start in your third or fourth year in the program. I'm glad we're getting back to that.
It should not be lost on us that Molk was scuffling with Laurenitis and not taking crap. He could be a leader for 3 years on a team that is searching for someone.
I was also glad to see Molk going at it w/ Laurinaitis. Obviously I don't encourage fighting, and he was likely acting out of frustration. But it was definitely nice to see some fire.
I agree that it is impressive that Molk was so consistent with his shotgun snaps. Who among the RS Freshmen are likely to start or contribute along the offensive line and where? I've seen the most discussion regarding Barnum. And what is Zirbel's status? I think RR said in a presser that Zirbel's injury could be career-threatening, but I have not heard whether Zirbel even had surgery.
I think we'll see Mooseman, Molk, and Schilling return as starters, and I think it's likely we see Ferrara return as a starter (if Zirbel returns, and is healthy, maybe Ferrara slides back to being a reserve). That leave a tackle spot - the only T's we have from the freshmen are O'Neill, who most seem to think isn't ready, and Omameh (ditto). So honestly - I think you'll see the same 5 guys out there to start the year: Dorrestein and Schilling at T, Ferrara and Mooseman at G, and Molk at C.
That would leave 2 OL spots (Dorrestein's T spot and Mooseman's G spot) open for that group when they become RS Sophomores - which is about the earliest you'd expect to see an O-lineman contributing.
the thing i'm relieved about is that we have everyone coming back, we now have a 2 deep on the OL, and we will have actual backup options.
Ortmann was the starter, not Dorrestein. Dorrestein only played when a) the coaches distrusted McAvoy and moved Ortmann to guard or b) when Schilling got hurt.
RR said his injury is too severe to risk him playing. however RR wants him to come back as a student asst. though