With the sudden departure of offensive linemen Travis
Triplet and Chris Boggas, the Kansas State
depth chart looks quite different than what was probably expected last
Malcolm Wooldridge takes over at left guard with true
freshman John Hafferty in at the two deep. Fellow true freshman Gerald Spexarth
will back up senior Jon Doty at left tackle. Logan Robinson and Jacob Voegeli,
both redshirt freshmen, are penciled in at the two-deep at right tackle and
center behind Jeromey Clary and Mike Johnson.
K-State head coach Bill Snyder was
asked at the first weekly press conference Tuesday how the losses of Triplett
and Boggas will affect the team.
“It doesn't change anything in
regards to how we practice or what the focus is,” he said. “It just means that
if someone gets hurt or someone leaves, someone steps up and whoever is next in
line gets their opportunities. That's the way we address this. You recognize
and accept what the issues are and move on. The young guys deserve to be there
and I think they are doing relatively well. It hasn't altered the way that
we've practiced so far.”
And with the opening game against Western Kentucky just two days away, Snyder said losing the two linemen hasn’t slowed
the offensive unit’s progress.
“I don't think you can ignore the
fact that it is a little bit of an issue, but I don't think that it has slowed
down or sped it up, or motivated us one way or another,” he said. “We just go
Though Snyder said it’s an issue
and they have moved on, nonetheless, there isn’t a lot of experience backing up
the core of the offensive line starters now. But despite all that Snyder
remained firm, saying the No. 2s have earned the right to be there, not matter
“I don’t think there could be any
way you couldn't play a number two young guy,” he said. “They've practiced
well. They have been in the mix from the very beginning. They've been good in
running the offense, and they are in the right places at the right times.
That's not easy for anyone, but especially for freshmen, it's a little bit more
complex. I think they will continue to progress and keep working hard.”
It wasn’t until a few years ago,
it was almost a given that a K-State freshman lineman would redshirt. Nick Leckey broke that mold and then it was later until current right tackle Clary
managed to see the field as a freshman too.
But Snyder said it isn’t that
simple, or a given, that all freshman are better off to have redshirted and
have the fifth year than be thrown into the mix as a true freshman.
“There is a yes and no answer to
that,” he said. “No, just because you would like to have them for that fifth
year. But you have to ask yourself the question if you're going to be better in
your first year or your fifth year. The obvious answer is that you will be
better in your fifth year. With that being said, you'd like to have an
opportunity to have as many years as you could. By the same token we have some
seniors across our offensive line. The experience the younger guys will gain
would be beneficial for the future as well.”