ASU football 2014 season preview: Offensive line

ASU football players stretch before practice of the second day of Camp Tontozona. (Photo by Andrew Ybanez)

ASU offensive linemen stretch before practice of the second day of Camp Tontozona. (Photo by Andrew Ybanez)

Although the offensive line has shaken up a bit since last season, with departures of Evan Finkenberg and Kody Koebensky, it is generally a position group of solidarity for ASU football this season.

With Finkenberg, last year’s left tackle, gone, redshirt senior Jamil Douglas slides over from left guard to replace the former first-team All-Pac-12 selection. Filling in for Douglas, however, could even be considered an upgrade. After sitting out last season because of transfer rules, former five-star recruit and Auburn commitment, Christian Westerman is slotted in at Douglas’s open left guard slot.

The two provide some star power on the left side of the line, and it has shown at times in practice. Multiple times, junior running back D.J. Foster has caught screen passes out of the backfield for big gains because of key downfield blocks given by Douglas.

Blocking isn’t the only thing Douglas brings to the table, though. Coach Todd Graham called him and redshirt senior quarterback Taylor Kelly the two undisputed leaders of the team. He and Kelly will, as expected, act as offensive captains.

Ironically, it’s the same side of the line as last season that isn’t attracting the attention. Redshirt senior Tyler Sulka and redshirt junior Vi Teofilo return to their respective positions of right tackle and right guard. It could be because the line was never considered much of an asset last season, but with another year of experience under their belts and solid play from the left side of the line,  the Sun Devils’ new offensive line may prove to be slight upgrade.

2014 depth chart:

LT:

1. Jamil Douglas

2. Evan Goodman

LG:

1. Christian Westerman

2. Sam Jones

C:

1. Nick Kelly

2. Stephon McCray

RG:

1. Vi Teofilo

2. Stephon McCray

RT:

1. Tyler Sulka

2. William McGehee

 

Reach the reporter at ewebeck@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @EvanWebeck