The Cowboys are one of the favorites to win the Big 12 in 2017. Just look at the weapons they have returning in QB Mason Rudolph, RB Justice Hill, and WR James Washington among several other talented receivers. However, a major weakness is developing on this team and it is threatening the Cowboy’s 2017 chances. That weakness is offensive line depth.
The O-line depth took another blow today. According to GoPokes.com offensive linemen Jesse Robinson and Matt Mucha will not be returning to the program.
While neither Robinson or Mucha started last season, they were both part of the rotation and were expected to contribute this year. Robinson, a redshirt senior next season, was called upon to help fill the void when offensive guard Larry Williams suffered an injury. Mucha would be a redshirt junior this upcoming season, and earned playing time at the tackle position. Both players will graduate in May.
For coach Gundy this is yet another blow to a position short on depth. Gundy made it clear that they set out to land four offensive lineman in the 2017 recruiting class, but only landed two after several late decommitments and neither was out of high school. JUCO transfers help in the short time but do little for long-term depth. It was this failure in recruiting that many believe led to offense line coach Greg Adkins getting fired last week after just two seasons.
Somewhat ironically, it was Adkins that was credited for turning around the position that has plagued the Cowboys in the recent past. Justice Hill broke the 1,000 yard mark last season and was the first Cowboy to do it since 2012.
Oklahoma State has yet to name a new offensive line coach, but when they do it will be their fourth coach at the position in five years. As Pistols Firing Blog points out, whoever is hired will need to produce on the recruiting trail almost immediately as the Cowboys are in desperate need for depth and stability up front.