Baylor football has major depth issues on the offensive line thanks to attrition in previous recruiting classes. However, a new development should give fans some hope.
Freshman offensive lineman Ryan Miller, who just enrolled this summer, is currently slotted into the starting lineup at center, according to a report from ESPN Central Texas.
As part of the move, Sam Tecklenburg moved from center to left guard. It also likely means Tyrae Simmons will move to a reserve role.
It’s a massive win for the 6-2, 290-pound recruit from Southlake Carroll. Miller only started playing offensive line full-time as a senior at Carroll. Previously, he earned all-district honors at defensive tackle. Now, he is tasked with replacing All-Big 12 center and NFL draft pick Kyle Fuller.
Getting immediate help from a freshman offensive lineman would be massive. With offensive linemen Josh Pelzel and Tanner Thrift retiring this summer, only five upperclassmen with offensive line experience remained on the two-deep. Baylor listed three freshman total on the post-spring two-deep at offensive line.
With the inexperience up front, the other two — Henry Klinge and Xavier Newman — may also need to play. Offensive line is never an ideal position to lack experience, but that will be life next season in Waco.
“That’s one of the story lines this year,” coach Matt Rhule said of the offensive line. “Really no one can get hurt on the offensive line. They’re just not allowed to. But we have young players. We recruited them for a reason. They saw an opportunity to come here, and they have to be ready to play.”