The numbers where thin on the offensive line last year. Somehow, due to a couple injuries, Paul Chryst was able to redshirt both Adam Bisnowaty and Gabe Roberts.
Bisnowaty could have certainly been used last year. However, he appreciates the redshirt all the more, and is looking forward to at least getting on the field in 2013.
“I have been getting in the weight room and eating a lot, I came in around 270 [lbs] and now I am about 305 [lbs]," Bisnowaty said. " I am still trying to get my weight up. The coaches want me at 315 [lbs], so I still have a little work to do. I just have to keep riding, eating and getting bigger in the weight room.
"Definitely, I really enjoyed (the redshirt) even more. That was really big for me."
We're far from finding out who the starters will be for the season-opener against Florida State on September 2, but for now, Bisnowaty has the inside track on the starting left tackle spot.
Some coaches might be hesitant to put a freshman or a redshirt freshman in there. Head coach Paul Chryst, at the very least, is encouraged by what he sees from Bisnowaty so far.
"“They have a long ways to go," Chryst said of the offensive line. "Guys are in some good spots, but right now we have nobody playing the same position they were at last year so that’s different. Coach Hueber has his work cut out for him, but it’s good and we have to go to work on Thursday.”
At tight end, offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph has the luxury of having four bodies this spring, including a newcomer in Scott Orndoff. Manasseh Garner transferred in from Wisconsin last year, and is someone Rudolph is very familiar with, having recruited him to Wisconsin, and coaching him there for two years.
For the most part, due to injuries, Rudolph was limited in the way he could use tight ends. Ideally, he'd like to have four, which he has now. The spring of good, being that he can develop on the experience J.P. Holtz and Drew Carswell developed last year, while incorporating new players like Garner and Orndoff.
For Holtz, who led all tight ends with 13 catches for 173 yards and three touchdowns last year, says he is comfortable with accepting a leadership role. In fact, he finds it helpful having another player such as Orndoff who is enrolled early, learning the system.
"We have a lot more depth this year with Scottie and Manasseh coming in, and Drew and I," Holtz added. "We have a lot more depth than we did last year, so we should be able to do a lot more. I’m more experienced than I was last year. I was a freshman last year. I’m not a freshman anymore so I have to take more leadership in the offense and be a better contributor on the field.”