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Colorado Football 2023 Preview: Offensive Line

A rebuilding unit needs to protect the franchise

NCAA Football: Arizona at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Departures: Luke Eckardt, Noah Fenske, Jake Wiley, Jackson Anderson, Austin Johnson, Edgar Amaya, Casey Roddick, Frank Filip

Additions: Savion Washington, Jack Bailey, Landon Beebee, Jack Wilty, Reggie Young, Tyler Brown (ineligible), Isaiah Jatta, David Conner, Kareem Harden, Jeremiah McCrimmon

Everyone knows the big uglies up front can make or break an offense. The Colorado Buffaloes were broken in almost every on offense in 2022, so it’s hard to put too much blame on the OL. Casey Roddick, now at Florida State, was one of the bright spots on the team. However, 1-11 requires institutional change at an extreme level, and no position group was untouched. As is the case with almost everything Deion Sanders does, the talent definitely improved in 2023. But the offensive line is less about talent than any other position.

Look, am I an offensive line expert? No. I’ll grab what I can from highlights but I can’t break down each addition one by one like I can with more, shall we say, showy positions. So I’ll break down what I can with Bill O’Boyle, the new offensive line coach, and some of the starting lineup.

O’Boyle comes to Boulder with Sean Lewis, the new offensive coordinator. At Kent State, O’Boyle was the only offensive line coach that Sean Lewis had. For five years, those two worked together on the fastest offense in the country. BOB knows exactly what they need to do to get that offensive line moving fast.

Savion Washington and Jack Bailey transferred with BOB from Kent State and will likely be working together as the starting RG and RT for the third straight year. Those are two grown men who are seniors and know how to play with each other. Tank Lichtenhan will stay the starting LT for the second year in a row, and the 6’10 mammoth has taken a huge step forward physically. Left guard was slated to be Tyler Brown, but he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA. Now, expect Landon Beebee, the D2 All-American, to get a long look there. At center, we have returning freshman All-American Van Wells. He has TONS of potential and will be expected to anchor the line this year.

I would say that this position group (save the tight ends, who play a role so small that I’m not writing about them sorry) is in the most worrisome position out of any on offense. There are a lot of new faces, a new coach, and not many proven P5 players. HOWEVER, in an offense this fast, mediocrity would more than get the job done. The familiarity between OC, OL coach and some members of the new line will be leaned on to create some instant chemistry. If everyone stays healthy, this line could make some noise. But that is unlikely and in the instance that some players miss some games, the depth behind the top line is kind of scary.