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Oregon State Football: Most Valuable Player Countdown - #16 Blake Brandel

Can the sophomore tackle build on his freshman season and anchor a new-look offensive line?

OSU Athletics

It’s no secret to OSU fans that Gary Andersen has been able to assemble a pretty talented squad of weapons for incoming quarterback Jake Luton. The Beavs are loaded with talent at the running back position and have a solid group of pass catchers looking to stretch the field a little more in 2017. The biggest question regarding the offense, well aside from what Luton will bring to the table come game time, is how quickly the offensive line can come together and replace 3 veteran starters from last years team.

One position that looks to be shored up is left tackle, where sophomore Blake Brandel will line up after seeing most of his time last year on the opposite end of the line. The Central Catholic alum played all 12 games last season, starting 3 at left tackle before moving to the right side to accommodate the return of Sean Harlow. Upon the move to right tackle, along with the return of Harlow, the OSU offensive line became a force to be reckoned with, as they helped the running game to a school record in yards per carry. For his efforts, Brandel, along with Lavaka, was recognized by Athlon Sports and named to their Pac-12 All-Freshman team a season ago.

While the talent is obviously there, the biggest question mark will be how well Brandel makes the transition from the right to the left side, and whether or not he can fill the leadership role left by Sean Harlow. The stable of running backs along with the newcomer in Luton will need the offensive line to come together quickly to open running lanes and give Luton enough time to hit his receivers down field.

Will The offensive line come together in time for the season opener? Will Brandel make a seamless transition to anchor the left side? Will he ever go on a swing again after his viral incident his freshman year?