Best Big 12 Offensive Linemen Returning For 2024

Best Big 12 Offensive Linemen

Editor’s Note: This is the next in our ongoing series, looking at The Best Returning” in the Big XII:

Last Word has established that the race for the Big 12 title in 2024 is going to be hotly contested. It likely will be as simple as who has the best Big 12 quarterback returning this season. But those quarterbacks are nothing without the big boys up front protecting them. We have ignored position in this five-man unit, but only one can carry the title of best Big 12 offensive lineman returning for the 2024 college football season.

Best Big 12 Offensive Linemen Returning For 2024

5. Caleb Rogers – Texas Tech

Head coach Joey McGuire knows he needs to shore up the offensive line. Last season saw progress from his inaugural 2022 campaign, but the line still left plenty to be desired. However, he has a true anchor point to continue to lead those development efforts in Caleb Rogers. The super-senior from Mansfield, TX enters the 2024 season with 42 consecutive starts and 48 career appearances. Those 48 career appearances place him among the most experienced offensive linemen in college football. As one of five team captains for the 2024 season, and with experience starting at both tackle positions, Rogers will play a vital role in the success of the Red Raider offense in 2024.

4. Jonah Savaiinaea – Arizona

Jonah Savaiinaea has been a starter for the Wildcats since he stepped on campus. Entering his junior season in 2024, Savaiinaea has 25 consecutive starts under his belt. He finished his freshman campaign landing on the FWAA Freshman All-American team. Last year, he made a significant improvement, specifically in pass protection. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Savaiinaea only allowed two sacks in 889 snaps. Just like other selections from our best Big 12 offensive linemen unit, he has experience at multiple positions (Guard and Tackle). The new head coach, Brent Brennan, was praised for keeping pieces at the quarterback and wide receiver positions. However, don’t overlook the significance of having kept Savaiinaea around as well.

3. Michael Ford Jr. – Kansas

When Michael Ford Jr. joined Lance Leipold at Buffalo in 2020, he could not have ever imagined he would be an integral part of the biggest turnaround in recent college football memory. Kansas enters this season with the potential to win the Big 12 and the efforts of Ford will be vital to reaching that ceiling. According to PFF, Ford Jr. is the most valuable retuning power five interior offensive lineman since 2022 according to PFF’s wins above average metric. In 2023, he was one of only five power five guards who graded out in the top 20 nationally in both run and pass blocking.

2. Wyatt Milum – West Virginia

There wasn’t one single bigger turnaround in 2023 than what Neal Brown pulled off at West Virginia. Brown entered the season on one of the hottest coaching seats going into the 2023 season. But guided the Mountaineers to a nine-win campaign after being picked to finish dead last in the Big 12 preseason poll. They did so on the backs of a power rushing attack, which was lead up front by Wyatt Milum. He has started 32 games, with 36 appearances at tackle in his career for West Virginia. Milum did not allow a sack or a quarterback hit and only eight pressures were allowed in 2023. More impressive, he has not allowed a sack in 23 of the last 25 games in which he played. Milum’s efforts landed him on the second-team All-Big 12 squad for 2023 and looks to keep the momentum rolling in Morgantown.

The Best Big 12 Offensive Linemen Retuning Is Luke Kandra – Cincinnati

In the search for the best Big 12 offensive linemen, the final destination landed Last Word in a bowl of Skyline chili. It was a very uninspiring year one for Scott Satterfield. But year two brings a few reasons to expect some improvement and it starts upfront. Luke Kandra was one of 11 Power five guards who didn’t allow a single sack or quarterback pressure in 2023 (minimum 150 snaps played). Starting all 12 games last year at right guard, Kandra ranked as the nation’s third-best Power Five guard (81.8) according to PFF. His stellar play landed him on multiple All-Big-12 (First-team AP, Second-Team Coaches) and All-American teams (Second-Team Walter Camp, Third-Team AP). The Cincinnati native looks to continue 2024 as one of the best all-around linemen in college football.

Best Big 12 Offensive Linemen
Photo courtesy: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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