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Bosch Details Depth Concerns on O

Time:2017-08-13 06:28Shoes websites Click:

Depth Details concerns Bosch

b/pKyle Bosch/b (Photo: Icon Sportswire, Getty)

Kyle Bosch doesn't have the time to leave you guessing.

"I never thought I'd be one of those guys who said it flies by, but it really does fly by," the senior offensive lineman said before a West Virginia practice last week. "Being an older guy with these younger kids, you see where it's a grind. It's a struggle. It's hard to see the end, but with them, there's always next year. I'm not in that position. There is no next year. You try to take advantage of it as much as you can."

So, Bosch is out there doing his part to sculpt a group that needs to replace three starters from last year. He's played right guard and left guard and even a little center. It's what he does to help. And where he's sort on time, he's short on mystery, too. Bosch knows what many others suspect.

"We don't have the numbers we've had in the past," Bosch said. "This is the smallest offensive line I've been a part of."

This sounds no alarms at the Puskar Center. He's not speaking out. He's not speaking out of turn. He's speaking the same language as his coaches. The Mountaineers have a group of players they very much like and trust, and they don't know much about all the others.

"It's just depth more than anything," coach Dana Holgorsen said. "We're trying to bring our backups along."

Yodny Cajuste has missed 18 games the past two seasons with injuries, but he's the left tackle. Securely, even. Colton McKivitz, force fed a significant and eventually starting role in Cajuste's absence as a redshirt freshman last season, is the right tackle. There is no concern there, either.

"They've kind of reversed roles," Bosch said. "Colton's come in kind of like the wily veteran with a little more experience and a little more comfort in his role. Yodny's coming off a season-ending injury, and he's in a better place now, but toward the beginning of camp, you could see the year off and not being on the field made him a little shaky, a little unsure of what he was doing. But they're both doing really well and going in the right direction there."

Matt Jones, a sophomore who played only a handful of snaps against Iowa State in 2016, is the center, and he's been the favorite for a long time. Bosch is a guard, and though he's started 26 straight games on the right side, he's practiced on the left and right in camp. Where he comes to rest may depend on where senior Grant Lingafelter or redshirt freshman Josh Sills fits best. Still, it's three players for two spots and basically no confusion.

"I'm playing left now," Bosch said. "I played right the first six days, and I even played center, but we're having the inside guys rotate like a carousel to see what the best fit is, where I can contribute the most and where everyone else can contribute the most," Bosch said. "The tackle position, that's one of those things where you can't be moving people around. It's two guys, left and right, and they're protecting the quarterback's blind side and expanding the pocket and helping with his seeing shoulder. It's definitely harder to flip flop those guys back and forth."

Junior college transfer Kelby Wickline has taken snaps at both tackle spots. Tennessee transfer Ray Raulerson is the backup center, and redshirt freshman Jacob Buccigrossi, who is rehabilitating a torn ACL from the spring, should be able to play there at some point this season as well. Chase Behrndt is a redshirt freshman trying to give the Mountaineers a boost at guard. The Mountaineers will welcome contributions from elsewhere.

"I think having the little amount of depth we have, you have to cross-train people at the 2s (second team)," Bosch said. "That's why you see some kids rotating between 2s and 3s. You need six or seven guys come weeks three, four, five and six and so on, because this isn't a very forgiving position."

Author

Mike Casazza @scoutmedia

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