As always, the offensive line position was an early priority for Mike Leach and the Cougars, but unlike always, it dissipated over the course of the 2014 recruiting cycle. In all, three potential offensive linemen recanted their commitments and left the Cougars with an interesting quandary for the class.
If everything goes to plan today (this signing period), the Cougs will have only signed two pure offensive linemen for 2014. However, with the 2013 class turning out surprisingly over the course of the Fall practice season, it shouldn’t be too big of a deal that the Cougs didn’t get all their guys here.
Legacy prospect and now signee Andre Dillard certainly won’t complain about the lack of big numbers in this class, he’s already trying to catch up from being by far the smallest OL that Leach has recruited to date. He’s going up against superior size in prior classes, but don’t let that fool you into thinking he won’t be ready for play sooner than later.
Dillard brings terrific technique and quickness to the table and that’s worked out pretty well a few undersized Cougar linemen in the recent past. Mike Leach raved about Cole Madison (265) last season. We also know that Matt Goetz (270), Zach Brevick (278) and Elliot Bosch (280) were hard enough workers with good enough technique to compete at the Pac-12 level. Since his high school season ended, Dillard has already put in the work to bulk up 10 lbs and sits between 245 and 250 lbs currently, so no need to worry about work ethic.
It helps that his dad played football for Wazzu himself, so he’s football savvy as well. But here’s the rub, Leach doesn’t extend offers to kids he doesn’t feel can play the position, so regardless of that 2-star ranking which is largely in part to his size anyway, a gem is what I see on tape. Something special might be on the way from Woodinville, WA.