What will the Offensive Line be like in 2016?
The biggest problem with the Mississippi State football team in 2015 was the offensive line. Will it be any better in 2016?
The Bulldogs will lose two of their starters from this season’s team. Justin Malone and Rufus Warren were seniors and have played their final games as Bulldogs. So who will take their place?
Elgton Jenkins will likely slide in at left tackle in the place of Rufus Warren. This might be a case of addition by subtraction. Warren was a converted tight end, and never looked settled at left tackle. When Jenkins was asked to fill in for Rufus Warren after Rufus suffered some injuries, the freshman seemed to play better.
Martinas Rankin will likely be the other player expected to fill in. Rankin was the top rated JUCO offensive lineman in 2015. Many people, myself included, thought Rankin would be able to come in and start right away. It didn’t happen, and Rankin redshirted in 2015 to get better prepared for FBS level play. If he isn’t ready in 2016, the Bulldogs might have some more difficulties keeping defensive linemen out of the backfield next year.
The other player to watch out for is currently in high school. The coaching staff has their eyes set on prized recruit Scott Lashley from West Point. Lashley is one of the best offensive line prospects in the country, and he has the potential to come in and start immediately for Mississippi State if the Bulldogs can reel him in.
Next: Will the Running game return?