Center Cade Briggs has to be a reliable anchor for the offensive line
There isn’t really a competition for the starting job at center this year. That critical role has been all but handed over to New Mexico transfer Cade Briggs. That concerns me just a bit.
First of all, Briggs is not coming from a big-time college program. Rather, New Mexico is one of the worst programs in the nation and that makes me wonder just how ready to compete at the Big 12 level Briggs is.
Second, he played tackle in Albuquerque, not center. Therefore, he will be learning a new position in fall camp. And don’t forget that the Red Raiders will have only one game this year to iron out the kinks before the schedule gets extremely difficult with Houston coming to Lubbock in week two before a trip to N.C. State and a visit from Texas. In other words, Briggs had better be ready to hit the ground running.
But the problem is that he did not participate in spring practices with Tech. That means he missed 15 essential workouts that could have helped accelerate his learning of how to play center.
Sure, there is a backup plan behind Briggs. There has to be. What that is, only the coaching staff knows.
With Briggs out in the spring, a JUCO walk-on named Dennis Wilburn manned the center position and he seemed to impress the coaching staff. But regardless of how well he looked in March and April, the truth is that there is no Tech fan that should feel terribly confident about entrusting the starting center job to a walk-on.
Still, Wilburn will open the fall with a leg up in the race for the starting job. But Briggs was brought in specifically to earn that job and that’s what I suspect he will do. Either way, whoever mans the spot in the middle of the o-line will have to come up big if Tech is going to have the type of offense that Red Raider fans expect under new offensive coordinator Zach Kittley.