Having started the last nine games of the 2018 season at left tackle, Colorado’s Will Sherman had grown rather comfortable on that side of the offensive line.
The sophomore had no problem giving up his spot this summer, however.
With the addition of Arlington Hambright, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma State, the Buffs now have an experienced veteran on the left side, with Sherman now at right tackle.
“I know with Arlington here, (senior quarterback) Steven Montez is going to feel a lot more comfortable in the pocket, our run game is going to elevate,” Sherman said. “Whatever I have to do to help the team win, I’m going to do. I’m glad Arlington is here and I’m glad he’s here to help us win.”
Considering his continued development, Sherman might have been just fine on the left side, but he’s embracing the move to right tackle, where he played at Allen (Texas) High School.
“At first it was a little bit of an adjustment because I was used to the left, but I just took what I learned from high school and what (offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic) has taught me and ran with it,” Sherman said. “It’s been a pretty good adjustment so far.”
Physically, Sherman is a different player than he was a year ago. During the 2018 season, he played with about 280 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame. He’s now at a solid, consistent 300 pounds and said a grueling summer of workouts allowed him to get more comfortable with his new weight.
“Once camp got here, I was in pretty good shape and I’ve been getting in better and better shape,” he said.
Just as crucial in Sherman’s development is his growth in the mental side of the game.
“I think playing left, I was able to see the field differently,” he said. “Playing right, with coach Kap, he’s taught me a lot about not just being a physical offensive lineman, but reading defensive keys and safeties and stuff like that.”
Sherman, who played left tackle through most of spring, said it took a couple of weeks of preseason camp to work on his keys, but, “Once I did, I feel like I’ve been pretty good at right tackle.”
With Sherman settling in, the Buffs could be in good shape at tackle. Hambright brings experience to the left side, as he started five games at Oklahoma State last year before an injury. Sherman also played two seasons at Garden City (Kan.) Community College and was a highly rated JUCO prospect in 2017.
“He’s been doing phenomenal,” Sherman said. “For Arlington, it’s doing what he has to do to get to the next level. He’s athletic. He’s ready to do what he can.”
Between the tackles, the Buffs are still working on solidifying spots, although senior Tim Lynott and sophomore Colby Pursell are sure to be starters, if healthy. Both have worked at guard and center throughout camp.
Pursell, who started all 12 games at center last year, has been working at right guard of late, and Sherman said he’s growing comfortable with him there.
“He helps me out, too,” Sherman said. “He played center, so he knows what’s going on and when a blitz is coming, so he can help out on the edge, read things and see things before they happen.”
Kary Kutsch could wind up being the starter at left guard, although Casey Roddick has been battling there, as well.
In general, Sherman said he feels confident in the group at offensive line, and credits Kapilovic for that.
“Our mentality has changed,” he said. “That’s really half of what football is; it’s a mentality, how you approach things. With coach Kap, like he says, ‘Bring the juice all the time.’ We do that day in and day out. I’m proud of where we’ve come from January now to August. I think we’ve taken humongous strides.
“We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. I’m just happy to see what we’ve done so far.”