Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman has quietly constructed a formidable position group. The Schlarman Nine includes his starting five rotation plus four pivotal reserves. Going into fall camp, the Wildcat OL was considered Shannon Dawson’s most consistent group. That pre-camp assumption proved to be accurate. Up front, the Wildcats average size is 6’5 314 pounds and have 89 collective starts under their belt, the 15th most returning starts in college football.
Right Tackle-George Asafo-Adjei 6’5 325 true freshman, 0 starts. This rookie can flat out play the game of football. He’s also established himself as a team leader within a short period of time. George assumed his starting role when junior tackle Kyle Meadows missed a portion of camp due to migraines. He’s not relented. Right tackle is the best position for a true freshman offensive lineman to play.
Right Guard-Ramsey Meyers 6’4 320 sophomore, 12 starts. In 2014, Ramsey solidified his position and hasn’t looked back. Meyers’ experience will benefit right tackle Asafo-Adjei. His strengths include double team blocking and drive blocking, plus releasing downfield to clear a path during screen plays.
Center-Jon Toth 6’5 310 junior, 23 starts. Jon is the anchor of the offensive line and provides a consistent presence for the group. Highly intellectual, yet can move mammoth nose guards due to his understanding of leverage and technique.
Left Guard-Zach West 6’4 305 senior, 30 starts. The old man of the unit, Zach has played a great deal of football for the Cats. He had an exceptional game against South Carolina in 2014. Untimely injuries have somewhat hampered his career. West is now healthy as Coach Schlarman is counting on his experience and consistency.
Left Tackle– Jordan Swindle 6’7 309 senior, 24 starts. Moving from right to left tackle is not an easy transition. From all accounts, Jordan’s move has been effective. Optimal size for a LT, Swindle will be called upon to protect Patrick Towles’ blind side.
Key Reserves-Nick Haynes 6’3 308 sophomore OG, 1 start. Kyle Meadows 6’5 298 sophomore RT, 1 start. Cole Mosier 6’5 335 sophomore G/T, 2 starts. Zach Meyers 6’3 300 junior OG, 1 start.
The Schlarman Nine is an efficient group with sufficient skill to accelerate 2015 offensive production. Three key reserves are vital due to their versatility. Mosier, Haynes, and Meadows are capable of starting and playing every OL position other than center. LT Jordan Swindle was named to the preseason All SEC 3rd team. Expect a more physical unit due to player development and familiarity. Due to his age and lack of experience, Asafo-Adjei will be tested early by opposing defenses. Having the steady Ramsey Meyers beside him will help.