“Jordan Williams is an NFL tackle, but you have to be able to develop guys in behind him,” Patenaude said. “And over the course of a long season, you have to have eight, nine guys that are very capable of going in there and battling.”
Kirby can play either tackle spot. Pendley could be a backup at guard and tackle. Freshman Weston Franklin and William Lay are candidates to back up Minihan.
“We’ve got guys that can interchange, that can step up at a moment’s notice, can play different positions,” Johnson said. “In an offensive-line setting, that’s huge.”
Among the five, including starts at previous schools for Cochran and Johnson, that’s 109 career starts.
“I think guys are starting to pick up some complex stuff in offensive-line play,” Johnson said. “That, to me, is a really positive sign. Not just doing your job, but being able to do your job when things change around you is really exciting to me.”