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During preseason, Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano said that his team would only go so far as the offensive line would take them. Following a season where the Scarlet Knights went 4-8, it is clear that the offensive line needs some continued work.
There is plenty left to undertake for Pat Flaherty, the newly appointed Rutgers offensive line coach. The good news for the Scarlet Knights is that Flaherty brings two decades of experience coaching in the NFL including two Super Bowl rings won with the New York Giants.
He has an impressive resume for sure and will be asked to coach up a unit that comes into spring practice with plenty of potential as well as some veteran experience.
After some conversations with people in and around the program, there is a general consensus that these five players would comprise the projected starting offensive line…were the season the Rutgers football season start today:
Hollin Pierce (left tackle) – The former walk-on has turned into a steady force for Rutgers, starting all 12 games a season ago. It is likely that Pierce gets moved over to left tackle but for now, given his experience, it is safe to say that Pierce gets the nod at one of the tackle spots.
Kobe Asamoah (left guard) – The ceiling is high for Asamoah, who finished the season with three straight starts at left guard. That is especially impressive given that he is a true freshman.
Asamoah is part of the future of this team’s rebuild on the offensive line. That he is already a part of their present shows just how high his ceiling is and his potential to be an All-Big Ten caliber player.
Ireland Brown (center) – Brown’s development from a defensive lineman to the starting center for Rutgers is certainly one of the more intriguing storylines from this roster. He now has 17 starts along the offensive line (six at guard, 11 last year at center).
If Brown can make a similar jump as he did last spring, it would be huge news for Rutgers.
Curtis Dunlap (right guard) – The transfer from Minnesota heads into what is potentially his final season of college football with 12 starts last season for Rutgers, his first with the program.
Another offseason in the system should help Dunlap solidify his hold on the starting spot.
Kamar Missouri (right tackle) – Currently a redshirt sophomore, Missouri has some experience having played in eight games last year for Rutgers. He has gotten some buzz internally within the Rutgers program for his development last fall.
A former three-star recruit, Rutgers was his only Power Five offer. Missouri has some nice tools to work with to go along with some experience from this past fall. That is certainly encouraging for Rutgers.
And of course there is Reggie Sutton. If the veteran offensive lineman is able to return from the knee injury he suffered in 2021, he could be a big piece along the interior offensive line.
Sutton did not play last year as he continued to work his way back from the injury. In 2020, he was an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick, underscoring that if he can return, it would be huge for the Scarlet Knights.