Run and Shoot: Big 12: Discomfort Up Front

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Big 12: Discomfort Up Front

SAN ANTONIO -- Last season, true freshman Josh Freeman stepped in under center for Kansas State and proved that he can be the building block of the program. Throwing 15 interceptions to his six touchdowns, however, he'll need more time in the pocket to make better decisions this year. With only one offensive line position currently spoken for, head coach Ron Prince has tabbed the O line as one of his major areas of concern in his second season.

"Other than the center position I don't have a real good feel for exactly who is going to be in those spots," Prince said. "That's not a real comforting feeling for a coach, because that is a position that relies a lot on chemistry and working together."

A host of junior college recruits will join the program this season hoping to make an immediate impact on the offensive line, but the success the offense can achieve will rely more on returning players than new additions.

"The level at which the returning players have improved will show if this is a group with a lot of depth, or if we’re going to have to scratch and claw to win games," Prince said. "It’s going to be a matter of can we put this group together."

Quarterback Josh Freeman is much less worried about his protection than his coach is.

"I don’t see it as uncertainty, I see it as a lot of players capable of playing," the true sophomore said. "We have a lot of guys who I see ready to play. We’ve got 10 or 11 guys that I can see on the starting O line. I don’t see that as unnerving from uncertainty, I just see that as having depth and just not knowing who’s going to step up and who’s going to make the plays for you. I’m not worried about it."

Assuming at least four of those 11 do step up and make plays, Freeman should have a chance to prove his consistency in the pocket.

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