Most teams would be happy to have one All-Pac-12 caliber offensive lineman. The Washington Huskies actually have two and that's only the beginning.
UW has everything needed to possess one of the strongest offensive lines in college football. Left tackle Trey Adams and right tackle Kaleb McGary are All-Pac-12 first team members who are entering their senior seasons as cornerstones for an offensive line that has four players with starting experience.
That's not to say there aren't questions. Adams is on the mend as he continues to recover from a right knee injury he sustained in early October. UW, which opens spring camp Wednesday, must find new starters at center and left guard.
Here's a look at what to watch for with the offensive line when the Huskies open camp.
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The biggest question is ....
Adams' recovery is so important for a number of reasons. When healthy, he's a first-round talent who can be a pain for defensive ends with his colossal 6-foot-8 and 331-pound frame. He's also responsible for protecting three-year starting quarterback Jake Browning's blind side. UW is expected to challenge for a College Football Playoff semifinal berth and Adams' contributions could help the Huskies reach that goal.
The Huskies lost starting center Coleman Shelton and starting left guard Andrew Kirkland to graduation. Shelton was a three-year starter while Kirkland was a part-time starter who was arguably UW's most versatile lineman. It's possible UW could entrust Matt James and Jesse Sosebee as their replacements.
James, who is 6-5 and 300 pounds, is a senior who played tackle in high school but transitioned to center. He was Shelton's backup last season and has 28 games of experience with most of that time coming in a reserve capacity. The 6-5 and 306-pound Sosebee is also a senior who transitioned from being a high school tackle and was moved inside to guard. He's played 39 collegiate games and started eight games at left guard for UW last season.
UW has five offensive linemen with full-time starting experience. Adams and McGary, the former Fife High star, are going to start at left and right tackles. Nick Harris, who will be a junior, has 14 starts at right guard and created a strong partnership on the right side with McGary last season.
The most interesting figure within UW's offensive line setup is sophomore-to-be Luke Wattenberg. The 6-6 and 306-pound former four-star prospect became the Huskies' starting left tackle after Adams' season-ending injury. But with Adams back, it's possible Wattenberg could move to left guard. He took reps at left guard and left tackle during his redshirt season in 2016. Or the Huskies could use Sosebee at left guard.
Or there's a chance the Huskies could do the following by deploying Adams and Wattenberg on the left while James steps into the center spot. Harris and McGary continue to man the right side while Sosebee, who can play guard and tackle, can fill the "Kirkland Role" by being the versatile lineman capable of occupying different spots.
Seniors like Adams, James, McGary and Sosebee provide the Huskies with a ton of experience but it does come at a cost. It means UW will need to replace at least three starters for 2019. UW has three players — Devin Burleson, Jared Hilberts and Henry Roberts — who were backups at right guard, right tackle and left tackle near the end of the 2017 season. Altogether, the Huskies will have 14 linemen going into spring camp.
Technically speaking, the Huskies signed four offensive linemen for their 2018 recruiting class but only three of those players will come to campus at their natural positions. Sam Taimani, who was a four-star prospect at guard, is moving to defensive tackle.
UW signed another former Fife star when it inked M.J. Ale (6-6, 361) who became the team's biggest lineman upon arrival. Ale outweighs the next closest lineman by more than 25 pounds. The Huskies also brought in Victor Curne (6-3, 313 pounds) and Matteo Mele (6-5, 277 pounds) to complete the class.
Curne is a three-star prospect from Houston who was composite No. 27 offensive guard in the nation. Mele is also composite three-star prospect who was the No. 3 player in Arizona and the 27th best offensive tackle in the 2018 class. Ale, Curne and Mele will not participate in spring practice and will be at UW in the fall.