Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 4/22/13
This is the first in a series of reports reviewing Arizona State's spring camp and where the team stands heading into the summer. 422: Offensive line 425: Defensive line 429: Offensive backfield 52: Linebackers 56: Receivers 59: Defensive backs With the entire right side of the offensive line graduating after last season, ASU had a few questions to answer up front entering the spring. Who would move into starting roles? Where might certain linemen shift? How much depth is there behind the starters? Those questions would be answered under new direction after offensive line coach Bob Connelly was not retained. He was replaced by Chris Thomsen, who had been hired to coach running backs after coaching the offensive line at Texas Tech last season. ASU's offensive line was solid last season, helping the Sun Devils finish the year averaging 205.5 rushing yards per game, the program's second-best total in the past 25 seasons, but opponents got to the quarterback almost three times per game on average. With all that in mind, here's how things developed on the offensive line this spring: SPRING SPOTLIGHT: Jamil Douglas, right tackle. Douglas, a redshirt junior, started every game at left guard last season but this spring moved to right tackle. Coaches believe Douglas is a better fit there because of his athleticism. The move allowed redshirt junior Sil Ajawara to slide into the starting role at left guard. Douglas had to use spring practice to begin adjusting to the new spot, where he will likely face greater challenges from opposing defensive linemen. "It's been a little challenging," Douglas said. "I think I'm improving in the big sense and then with my footwork and everything. So it's going good. "I'm becoming more of a student of the game, learning different things." Coaches again and again pointed to Douglas's athleticism as his greatest asset, and his physical tools should be an even greater asset after Douglas bulked up. Listed at 284 pounds at the start of last season, Douglas is now listed at 303 pounds. He credits strength and conditioning coach Shawn Griswold's winter program for getting him in better shape for spring but says there is more work to be done before fall camp. "I can't even explain it," Douglas said. "We're not even in the right condition now and we're moving pretty fast, but come summertime, coach (Griswold) will get us right. That plays a big part in our tempo and getting guys lined up in the fourth quarter." POST-SPRING DEPTH CHART --Left tackle: Evan Finkenberg, Evan Goodman --Left guard: Sil Ajawara, Devin Goodman, Billy McGehee --Center: Kody Koebensky, Nick Kelly --Right guard: Vi Teofilo, Christian Westerman (ineligible in 2013) --Right tackle: Jamil Douglas, Tyler Sulka, Chip Sarafin HELP ON THE WAY: ASU's 2013 recruiting class was thin on offensive linemen. It included Nick Kelly, a junior-college transfer who enrolled early to participate in spring practice, and former five-star recruit Christian Westerman, who won't play in 2013 after transferring from Auburn. The only other offensive lineman brought in was Salinas (Calif.) Palma tackle Jack Powers, who could also end up on the defensive line but likely will redshirt in 2013. SPRING DEVELOPMENTS: Returning three offensive line starters, including two seniors, is a pretty good place to start for any line. In the Sun Devils' case, that Finkenberg is one of those seniors puts them in even better position. Even as a junior, Finkenberg was a leader on the line, and he has already taken on a greater role. "Evan Finkenberg has kind of seized the leadership role of that group," Thomsen said. "The way he's done that is primarily just by his work ethic, his day-to-day consistency. That's what I really admire about what he does. He does a lot of good things as a player, but the biggest thing is when you're the most accomplished player in your group and your work ethic is at a consistent level, people follow that." Thomsen also said center Kody Koebensky has stepped into a greater leadership role, and coach Todd Graham praised the group's leadership and unity on more than one occasion this spring. Cohesiveness is a big part of any offensive line, and ASU's seems to have developed it already. Further, ASU is in good position with experienced players taking over the vacated offensive line spots. Douglas started every game last year, Teofilo started three games and played often as a backup, and Ajawara played in four games. All three players impressed this spring, and with that kind of experience on the first line, the learning curve should be flatter. Ultimately, ASU has to be happy with where the offensive line stands ahead of fall camp. It should be better than it was in 2012. The greater concern is depth, which Thomsen called the group's "biggest question mark." Sulka and Evan Goodman are the only second-team players with significant experience, though Goodman was hampered by an ankle injury this spring and did not compete as expected for a starting spot. If Goodman gets right health-wise and challenges for a spot on the starting line, Thomsen said, depth starts to become less of a question mark. Kelly will contribute right away, which helps, and Devin Goodman began to progress late last season. The depth will also get a boost from Stephon McCray's return in the fall after a torn meniscus sidelined him this spring. Mo Latu, originally an interior offensive lineman, moved to defensive line but still provides a depth option if needed. COACH'S CORNER: Thomsen on what the offensive line must improve most going forward: "I'd say pass protection. That was an area that last year they kind of struggled in. Right now, in the spring, I can say I've seen some improvement, but we've still got to come on, because third-and -medium or third-and-long, you've got to be able to drop back and throw the football against the blitz. We're making progress there, but we're not where we need to be. We need to really develop. Our communication has to be better and the technique in the pass game has to be better."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Way-too-early look at Heisman favorites in 2017
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Draymond Green mocks LeBron James after flop

Romo likely to pick team he wants to be traded to

David Ortiz slams door on rumors of potential comeback

JJ Watt said to be ahead of schedule in back injury recovery

Seahawks expect Earl Thomas to be ready for 2017 season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

SD moving companies refusing to help Chargers relocate

Brown could be fined for sharing Tomlin's speech on Facebook

Future denies being on Falcons sideline to mess with Wilson

Bill O'Brien refuses to commit to Osweiler as Texans' starter

Report: 'Good chance' Chip Kelly gets offer from Jaguars

Sportsbooks take 'colossal' hit with Cowboys, Chiefs losses

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

The week in NFL news as explained by Heart

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The Mulligan: Why Chip Kelly deserves a second chance after the Niners

College coaches on the NFL's radar as the coaching carousel starts spinning

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

TailGreater: Picking the NFL divisional round games by hometown brews

The sports classic horror villains would play

Guilt-free guide to NFL playoff bandwagon fun

Box Score 1/13: Warming up for the playoff weekend

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill, others as playoffs progress

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

The week in NFL news as explained by Heart

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

QUIZ: Name every Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Pro-Bowler in the Super Bowl Era

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

The sports classic horror villains would play

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill and others as playoffs progress

NFL Divisional Round watchablity index

QUIZ: Name the 12 members of the San Diego Chargers in the NFL Hall of Fame

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker