The good news: Washington brings back four of five starters who helped Bishop Sankey to almost 1,500 rushing yards.
The bad news: Those starters weren’t very good in pass protection last season.
Gone is center Drew Schaefer. Redshirt junior Mike Criste is likely to replace him.
The health of Erik Kohler (knee) and Colin Tanigawa (knee) could determine the production of this group. Kohler participated in spring ball and said, once he felt his conditioning return, that he felt great. He had a problem with his kneecap popping out of place last season, something that he tried to handle with a couple days of rest but eventually needed surgery after the LSU game.
Tanigawa tore his ACL also in the LSU game, the second game of the year. He’s considered one of the more mobile and wise offensive linemen Washington has. But, we haven’t seen him play in almost a year.
Ben Riva broke his forearm last year in the opener before returning five games later against Arizona.
So, Washington hopes improved health and experience can turn the line into a force. Keith Price was sacked 37 times last year, 11 more times than 2011.
Again, if the Huskies are going to use a no-huddle, up-tempo approach all season, being able to rotate fit offensive linemen will be crucial.
Here’s a depth chart guess, with the caveat these spots will be fluid in camp: