With the regular season in the rear view mirror, we take a look this week at five positions MSU must beef up for the 2013 campaign. Today we continue with offensive tackles.
MSU isn’t losing anyone from this position, but there is a big need in terms of better performance. Blaine Clausell (left tackle) and Charles Siddoway (right tackle) have each started all 12 games, but that doesn’t make them top-shelf SEC players. Not that they can’t get to that level. Clausell is a sophomore with 16 career starts, while Siddoway is a junior college transfer, so neither guy has a ton of experience. There’s room to grow.
It can be tough to judge an offensive lineman’s performance. I don’t have blocking grades for you, but our eyes can tell us a lot. While quarterback Tyler Russell hasn’t taken a lot of sacks this season, he’s absorbed a ton of hits. Clausell and Siddoway have done a decent job of holding up defensive ends, even really good ones, but they haven’t dominated many people.
Behind them are sophomores Archie Muniz and Damien Robinson. Both have played in all 12 games, so they’re getting reps. But frankly, the 6-foot-7, 315-pound Robinson seems to be falling a bit short of expectations. Maybe it’s him, or maybe it’s coaching. And ultimately, the success or failure of the offensive tackles will fall on the shoulders of line coach John Hevesy. The interior linemen have been a strong point for MSU, so Hevesy seems to be doing a good job there. But the tackles have to get better.
An SEC team without strong tackle play is an SEC team that probably isn’t going to compete for a division title.