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2022 TCU Football Preview: Offensive Line

The Frogs offensive line looks to improve with new coach AJ Ricker and solid returning talent.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 30 TCU at Kansas State Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The offensive line for the Frogs has received much praise for their performance during fall practices under new coach AJ Ricker. Ricker followed head coach Sonny Dykes across the metroplex to Fort Worth from SMU as he had been the offensive line coach for the Mustangs for the past two years. Ricker is tasked with leading a unit that struggled with pass protection but was strong in the running game last year. The Frogs lost their starting left tackle Obinna Eze to the NFL this offseason but return solid experience especially on the interior.

The Returners:

TCU returns arguably their best lineman from a year ago in newly named captain Steve Avila. Avila was named to the AP All Big 12 first team in 2021 after starting at center for the Frogs. Avila also has flexibility to move to guard if needed as he has seen action there in years past. Also returning is senior John Lanz who started 5 games at left guard in 2021 and saw action in 8. Wes Harris having a healthy season would be a big time boost for the Frogs in 2022 as the talented guard has shown flashes of greatness but has been banged up with injuries the last three years. The Frogs have a lot of returning experience on the interior spots of the line and have solid talent that could compete for playing time as well such as Garrett Hayes. The redshirt sophomore from Athens, Texas was a top 100 player in the nation coming out of high school and a consensus four star recruit. After redshirting in 2020, Hayes saw action in nine games last year and could play at either guard or tackle to help replace Obinna Eze as Hayes was a tackle in high school. Brandon Coleman, the former Juco transfer, will be back for his junior season with the Frogs after starting 8 games at guard in 2021. Coleman and Hayes are two talented players that have yet to break through but have the opportunity to this year and take the offensive line to another level in 2022. One of the tackle spots will most likely be filled by returning starter Andrew Coker who started all 12 games at right tackle in 2021 for the Frogs. Standing at 6’7” and weighing in at 315 pounds, Coker has the build to be a dominant tackle with length to keep pass rushers away from his chest and light enough to keep up with speed rushers around the edge. Coker has a ton of potential and could be in line for a very solid 2022 season. While a ton of focus this fall has been put on the quarterback battle, and rightfully so, the battle for the starting spot at tackle will be something to keep an eye on as the season opener approaches.

The Newcomers:

One of the biggest wins of the offseason for the new TCU coaching staff was when Alan Ali announced his intentions to transfer to Fort Worth from SMU. Ali played all over the line for the Mustangs and was named Second Team All AAC center last season. Ali most likely will slot in at one of the guard spots this season for TCU and along with Avila should form a very solid interior offensive line. The Frogs also picked up transfer offensive tackle Robby Rochester from Uconn this offseason. Rochester is a former 3 star recruit from Southlake, Texas and is a candidate to see time at tackle this season for the Frogs. Former 4 star recruit Ezra Dotson-Oyetade transferred to TCU from Arizona State this offseason as well. The redshirt freshman was ranked as a top 50 player in Texas out of highschool and projects to play on the interior and should provide solid depth for the Frogs this year. The Frogs lone high school offensive line recruit in the 2022 class was 3 star tackle Quinton Harris from Arlington. Harris has great height at 6’7” but will most likely redshirt this year to fill out his frame in a college strength program.

The Frogs have some of its best talent in years at the skill positions on offense and if the offensive line can take a step forward in 2022 the offense will be explosive regardless of who starts at quarterback. The line seems poised to do just that with solid returners and a strong class of transfers to help contribute immediately.