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Zach Yenser shares significant update on Kentucky offensive line

The Big Blue Wall will

Wildcat Mascot Isamu Haynes-Sunayama - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats’ 2022 season begins next week, and the offensive line remains one of the biggest question marks.

Of course, everyone knew the Big Blue Wall would look vastly different from last year due to the losses of Dare Rosenthal, Luke Fortner and Darian Kinnard, while guard Eli Cox moved to center. That meant Kenneth Horsey would be the only returning starter to play the same position this year as he did in 2021.

For the rest of the o-line, most expected Auburn Tigers transfer Tashawn Manning to win the right guard spot, while former highly-touted JUCO recruit Jeremy Flax was projected to be the starting right tackle. Thus far, that’s exactly what’s played out in fall camp.

As for left tackle, that’s a different story.

Originally, class of 2020 4-star recruit recruit Deondre Buford was expected to be starting on the blindside. But as fall camp progressed, class of 2021 recruit David Wohlabaugh Jr. continued making a strong push to win the job.

Then there’s been 2022 recruit Kiyaunta Goodwin who’s shown he’s ready for snaps at that oh-so important position, which is rare in the SEC, even for a recruit as highly rated as Goodwin was.

As for Buford, he’s not quite shown the level of consistency Kentucky coaches were hoping to see, opening the door for one or both of Wohlabaugh and Goodwin to pass him on the depth chart.

Well, offensive line coach Zach Yenser confirmed today that Wohlabaugh and Goodwin are making a strong push at left tackle. Yenser also revealed that Buford has been getting more reps at right tackle and could end up primarily playing at that spot.

While Goodwin and Buford were regarded as higher-rated recruits, Wohlabaugh was no slouch either.

Granted, ESPN, Rivals and 247 Sports all viewed Wohlabaugh as a mid-tier 3-star recruit who wasn’t even a top-50 recruit at his own position.

However, On3 had a much stronger evaluation of Wohlabaugh, ranking him 252nd nationally, 13th among interior offensive linemen, and 10th among recruits from the state of Ohio in 2021. The latter ranking alone is a significant honor given how much high Division I talent the Buckeye State produces annually.

It’s also worth noting that Wohlabaugh’s father, David Wohlabaugh Sr., played in the NFL for nine seasons from 1995-2003. He was even the starting center for Tim Couch during his career with the Cleveland Browns.

David’s older brother, Jack, started his college football career at Ohio State before transferring to Duke and finishing his career this past season.

So yeah, the Wohlabaugh family has produced some big-time offensive linemen, and it looks like Jr. might be the latest example.

If nothing else, expect Wohlabaugh to get extensive playing time in Week 1 and potentially throughout the regular season.

Remember, Mark Stoops made it a point this offseason to find an o-line coach who resembled the late John Schlarman’s style of coaching, which features multiple lineman rotating at most, if not all five spots throughout games compared to Eric Wolford’s style of playing just five guys the majority of the snaps.

Yenser is thought to be more in the mold of Schlarman, which is good news for Wohlabaugh and other linemen who may not start but should still earn extensive playing time this year.

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