Great post. It's easy to see why the OL struggled when you look at all the beef that either transferred or got shown the door for breaking team rules. It's hard to start young undersized guys on the OL in the SEC and have a dominate running game. Hopefully that unit will mature more over the summer and play better. The good news is we should find out in the first game if we are going to be able to run the ball better this season.
Yeah, I'm not a huge proponent of drawing conclusions from the spring game, but the OL looked good and I don't think the 1st unit played together that much.
Here's what I like that makes me feel good:
1) Insertion of Blackwell and Hurst.
Whether people realize it or not, Hurst played A TON down the stretch. They were swapping series with him and Hitt and watching the tape there was a NOTICEABLE difference. Hurst was blowing Ole Miss defenders off the ball. He's a big, nasty dude.
Similarly, Blackwell played a good bit last year and he's a bigger body with more of a road grater mentality.
Hitt was plain horrible last season, easy as that.
Longergan is a physical upgrade at C and should have the mental aspects down pat now.
I actually think Josh D. will be a fine LG. He got beat some last year but not for lack of effort or technique. Just got out muscled. He'll have a ton of time to add the bulk and I think we could see a totally different player there.
My biggest concern is Barksdale transitioning to LT. I think he can do it, but we'll see. Black was never the LT we maybe once thought. He benefited A TON from playing next to Herman Johnson... and it showed last year.