We previewed half of the offensive line on Monday. Today, we look at the rest. My intention was to split this up into guys who will probably start or be rotational players and guys who won’t, but it ended up with a few guys in the second part of the preview who could be important.
Kevo Wesley, redshirt freshman: Wesley made his Vanderbilt debut in the Tennessee game at the end of last season, when Vanderbilt had low numbers and had to play a few guys who otherwise would not have played.
At 6’4” and 296 pounds, Wesley was ranked as the #11 center prospect in the country in the Class of 2020 by 247 Sports, and he might end up being Vanderbilt’s starting center in 2021. He’ll have some competition for that, namely from Julian Hernandez and Dan Dawkins, but I could easily see him winning the job.
Brayden Bapst, redshirt sophomore: A high school tight end, Bapst bulked up to 300 pounds on a 6’6” frame during a redshirt year in 2019. Last season, he played in seven games, though he’s yet to start a game at Vanderbilt. For 2021, he’ll probably be depth at tackle; he has a chance to start, but as of now I think he’s probably behind Tyler Steen and Bradley Ashmore on the depth chart.
Junior Uzebu, redshirt junior: The 6’6”, 305-pound Uzebu transferred in from West Virginia, where he didn’t see a ton of playing time, though he did start a game in 2020 before settling into a reserve role. He has good size and can play either tackle or guard; I’m just not sure how he fits into the depth chart here.
Jason Brooks, redshirt freshman: Brooks, who signed with Vanderbilt out of Dobie High School in Houston, is still listed at 6’4” and 275 pounds on the roster. Who knows if that’s still accurate (weights don’t appear to have been updated since last season), but if that’s still the case, he’ll need to add 20-30 pounds before he’s ready to play in the SEC.
Gage Pitchford, freshman: Yep, that’s definitely a Vanderbilt name. The 6’6”, 295-pound Pitchford signed with Vanderbilt out of East Coweta High School in Newnan, Georgia, and ranked as the #122 offensive tackle prospect in the class. Like most offensive linemen, he’ll probably need a year or two before being ready.
Jake Ketschek, freshman: With the true freshmen, again, we’re mostly talking about guys who will need a year or two — in other words, don’t expect Ketschek, a 6’4”, 310-pound freshman from Absecon, New Jersey, to play much in 2021.
Delfin Xavier Castillo, freshman: The highest-rated of Vanderbilt’s four freshmen offensive linemen in the 247 Sports composite, the 6’5”, 310-pound Castillo, from Kissimmee, Florida, ranked as the #64 interior offensive line prospect in the country.
Gunnar Hansen, freshman: Yep, another contribution from the St. Thomas Aquinas pipeline. The 6’5”, 310-pound freshman from Boca Raton, Florida, already has pretty good size and ranked as the #94 interior offensive line prospect in the country in the 247 Sports composite.