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2017 West Virginia Mountaineers Position Overview: Offensive Line

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West Virginia will need to replace three starters, including a Rimington Trophy finalist

Baylor v West Virginia Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Since Dana Holgorsen took over in 2011, the Mountaineers have gone from a pure Air Raid team to a more complex, power-zone-Air Raid offensive scheme. The Mountaineers want to be able to both pass protect and simultaneously run power isolation and zone reads. It’s a lot to ask of players, but it all starts up front.

2016 Exodus

The man at center, Tyler Orlosky departs West Virginia as one of the most unheralded lineman but one who was always worthy of attention. Orlosky was an Iron Mountaineer winner and twice named to the Rimington Trophy watch list, including being named a finalist last year.

Tony Matteo and Adam Pankey helped anchor the inside guards, along with Orlosky, giving the Mountaineers experience along the interior. Matteo filled in for Pankey until Pankey returned from a DUI suspension.

Marcell Lazard, who helped fill in the tackle position when Colton McKivitz switched to left tackle for Yodny Cajuste’s injury, left the team in March.

2017 West Virginia Tight Ends

Player Year 2016 Stats
Player Year 2016 Stats
Jovani Haskins R-Fr Redshirted (Miami)
Mac Christy Fr DNP (High School)
Joseph Turner Fr DNP (High School)
Matt Bezjak R-Fr Redshirted
Trevon Wesco R-Jr 1 catch, 6 yards, 1 TD
Matt Vucelik R-So DNP
Rob Dowdy R-So DNP

Yodny Cajuste

Cajuste, after back to back knee injuries is hoping to regain the form that had NFL scouts talking about a possible career at the next level. If Cajuste can stay healthy, he will give the Mountaineers a lock-down left tackle and allow them to send Crawford and McKoy out in patterns instead of keeping them in to block.

Kyle Bosch

Bosch moves from right guard to left guard. Bosch plays with a nasty streak and is capable of pushing defensive linemen out of the way. Kyle has the athleticism to allow the Mountaineers to run counters and traps, pulling the guard and getting him out in space. We’re still hoping Kyle will see his number called down in the redzone.

Matt Jones

Jones has the biggest shoes to fill. Tyler Orlosky was a mountain of a man and a player who got a lot of recognition from his peers. Jones is only a sophomore and will need to lean on his guards to make sure he knows all of his calls.

Grant Lingafelter

Lucky for Jones, he will be anchored by two redshirt seniors, Kyle Bosch and Grant Lingafelter. Lingafelter has been a fill-in so far in his career, but he’s not green. Finally earning his chance to start, Lingafelter will need to make the most of his chance.

Colton McKivitz

McKivitz was thrust into a starting role early. Yodny Cajuste was injured in the first quarter against Missouri last year which meant McKivitz had to take on future first-round draft pick Charles Harris as his first assignment. He held his own and the trial-by-fire made McKivitz grow up quick.

Backups

The Mountaineers boast a solid starting offensive line but after the starting group, experience is thin. The only upperclassmen who isn’t starting is Ray Raulerson, who transferred to the Mountaineers last year. He sat out all of last year and is eligible to play this year. The remaining players are redshirt freshman and sophomores with little to no starting experience. If the offensive line experiences an injury to a starting player early, it will force the coaches to get creative with play calling if the backups aren’t ready to step up.