I don't know things. What do I know.
But Juwann Bushell-Beatty is totally ignored on this blog and shouldn't be. Let's talk about why.
The tackle position is in fairly dire straits. Cole was excellent in the spring game against the best competition at LT, I think he'll be legit all-conference. But there's no one behind him. There is no starter at RT as of now. We know this. So by definition there is also no one behind that no one. This is pretty dire. Lots of options sure, young talent. But true freshman or others who haven't played.
JBB has played. Mixed results, wasn't great and at times bad, but he was better than "never mention this RS Junior OT again when talking about a team that desperately needs OT's". First, there's a perception that Bushell-Beatty was lowly rated recruit and a toss-in with Jabril Peppers. That's not the case. Per his profile on this site:
- ESPN: 4*, #10 OT, #120 overall
- 247: 4*, #17 OT, #215 overall
- Rivals: 3*, #33 OT (the #32 OT was a 4*)
- Scout: 3*, #45 OT
That's about 3.5 star eh? Low 4*/High 3*. Recruiting rankings don't matter now that he's 4 years in the program? Maybe. But it's some indication that perhaps he shouldn't be erased from all memory.
He was passed by Grant Newsome for the LT job, never really seemed to be in it. Maybe not a big deal because Newsome was pretty awesome. Bredeson moved ahead of him too. That's not so great because Bredeson was not pretty awesome (lots of potential). But he's also a guard and JBB is emphatically not that.
He's also not a LT. But that's what he played in his primary outings last year. You may remember he came in against Wisconsin. The UFR in that game calls him out negatively. But on review I'm not certain why. Wiscy has a beastly defense, and none of the OL except Kalis had a particularly good day. Coming in cold off the bench I think JBB did rather well. In 32 run snaps he had a UFR run grade of -3.5, and a PFF grade of -1.2. Not great. But in 19 snaps Newsome had a UFR of -.5 and PFF of -1.6. PFF liked him better on the ground. In Pass Pro, UFR has him -1 out of 27 snaps, error of 3%. This is vs. Kalis at 2%, Cole at 4%, Magnuson at 10% (Newsome and Braden have no grades listed). In terms of PFF pass pro, JBB is at .3, Newsome at .5, Cole at .7, Braden -.2, Kalis 1.5, Magnuson -.6. These aren't glowing numbers for JBB, but looking at them, who stands out as the negative outlier? He seems to center toward the middle against a very good defense in a crtically important game. Out of position at LT. That's an emphatic win and I'd take that and run at RT this year.
Rutgers is more problematic, no doubt. He was beaten around the edge soundly and frequently. The move to Braden the next week was necessary. This is bad. He lunged in pass pro, missed, and people ran around him. Don't lunge JBB. One potential explanation: he went down hard in that game early, before he had the problems, went out for a bit and came back in. In the spring he mentioned some vague injuries last year. I'm working too hard to explain away a poor performance, but we're all trying to squint and see the positives at RT this year. You're doing it with Runyan/Stueber/Filiaga.
Runyan won all the Feats OF STRengTH awards for OL this spring. If you watched the interview when he talked about it, he said everyone else was just behinid him. Maybe he was being modest. I hope he's great. He was not very good at all in the spring game. Stueber or any of the freshman are going to struggle mightily, at least that has to be the going-in view. They need to learn the offense and where the bookstore is, in addition to gaining strength.
Maybe there's insider noise that says JBB is buried in a hole. A 6'6" 310 lb hole (yes I know / think / not sure actually that holes don't have mass). All I heard during spring was that the coaches were begging him to take the job. He was trotted out for interviews. He was injured and since has never been heard from again.
He's going to be a factor at that RT spot. Anybody with a body is going to be a factor at that spot this year. It's not a "develop the young kid if he's of similar performance to the senior" situation. Because if he locked down RT this year, he can return with a year under his belt playing with Onwenu and have the true makings of a holy shit OL next year.
Please don't ignore Juwann Bushell-Beatty. He may be the bridge that gets the team past Florida and time for the freshman to acclimate before PSU. He may be OK, given Speight's ability to scramble. He may be good if Frey can work on him. He may solve all problems at RT this year and next. It's OK to mention him again.