KT Leveston - #70 - Sr. - 6’5”, 330
Leveston has always been a man-mountain; last season he started moving his feet a little faster. A 14-game returning starter, KT was 2022 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention according to the coaches and is on the Outland watch list to start the season. He needs to stay healthy because the other options probably involve shuffling the line.
Christian Duffie - #73 - Sr. - 6’5”, 300
Death, taxes, and Christian Duffie starting at right tackle for K-State. The big man out of Humble is back, but his 35 game starting streak could be in jeopardy. He did something (not sure what) to himself this summer and the coaching staff is being extra cautious with his return. I doubt he plays in the opener against Southeast Missouri State, but will hopefully answer the call against a traditionally tough Troy squad.
John Pastore - #78 - R-Fr. - 6’6”, 295
Is Pastore the back up? Probably? If KT gets his helmet ripped off, expect Pastore off the bench. Long term, any extended KT absence necessitates a line shuffle. It’s not that Pastore doesn’t have a bright future, but I’m not sure he’s one of Connor Riley’s 5 best if Leveston goes down. Either way, this is a big year for Pastore who will have a head start on winning a starting spot in 2024.
Carver Willis - #77 - Jr. - 6’5”, 291
I expect Willis to start the opener, and wouldn’t be surprised to see him take substantial snaps in the first few games while Duff works himself back into game shape. Unlike Pastore, Duffie to Willis is a one for one switch that shouldn’t effect the rest of the line. He’s a junior, and according to my offensive line progression chart, now is the time for Carver to show the world his final form as an offensive lineman.
Drake Bequeaith - #53 - R-Fr. - 6’6”, 280
If Drake sees important snaps this season, something has gone terribly wrong. He’s still about 20 pounds lighter than what you want at either tackle spot. He was a developmental guy coming out of Grapevine high school, and he’s already packed 20 pounds onto his frame during his time in Manhattan. Give him another year of eating, lifting and practicing and he’ll be ready to put his best foot forward in the 2024 competition for playing time.
Jackson Fullmer - #62 - Fr. - 6’4”, 285
If you forced K-State to put out a 2 deep, Fullmer would be on it with Duffie out of action. Every effort will be made to maintain his redshirt, because the Idaho native needs to get bigger and stronger. Fullmer making the 2 deeps is more an indication of a lack of depth, than anything else. He has the potential to be good down the line, but if he plays anything other than garbage time snaps in 4 games this year, things aren’t going great for the Wildcats.
Devin Vass - #79 - Fr. - 6’6”, 285
Like Fullmer, Vass has potential down the road, but should under no circumstances play a meaningful snap this season. Keep in mind, that’s true of 99% of freshman offensive linemen and isn’t a commentary on Vass’s potential 2 seasons from now. This year the big man from Bartow, Florida needs to eat, lift and learn because the depth chart is wide open next season.
Break in Case of Emergency
Cooper Beebe - #50 - Sr. - 6’4”, 335
If the worst happens and KT goes down, Beebe could slide out to his old left tackle spot. He’s a good left tackle, but he’s a NFL plug and play guard. He belongs on the inside, but Connor Riley sleeps a little easier at night knowing he can move to the outside if needed.
Hopefully he’s not needed.
Duffie and Leveston are two of the more experienced bookends in college football, as long as they stay healthy, the Cats are set. Hopefully Duffie getting dinged in the summer isn’t a harbinger of doom because one of the problems with having 2 entrenched starters in the portal era is depth. Despite having one of the best lines in college football, Riley, Klien, and Klieman have struggled keeping tackles on campus.
Talor Warner - 4* 2020 offensive tackle - No clue?
Witt Mitchum - 3* 2020 offensive tackle - North Alabama
Austin Weiner - 3* 2021 offensive tackle - Louisiana Monroe
Kingsley Ugwu - 2021 JuCo transfer - Fresno State
Jalen Klemm - 4* 2022 offensive tackle - Washington
That’s more turnover than I expect to see on the offensive line, but once KT and Duffie received an extra year, the offensive tackle depth chart thinned out. Health is crucial for a tackle spot that gets real thin, real fast after the first 3 guys.