The hog mollies on the offensive line never seem to get enough attention in college football so here is a rundown of the best O-linemen in the nation for the 2012 season. The top 20 offensive linemen are ranked along with a summary of the top five and notes on the rest. The ranking is based on the best college football linemen not NFL prospects, but information on draft status is included. Bench, squat, and 40-yard dash numbers are provided for the top five. Four of the top five linemen have weight room numbers listed from high school and some of the other players have more recent weight room numbers posted.
1. C Barrett Jones, Alabama Crimson Tide
Barrett Jones comes into the 2012 college football season as a highly decorated veteran on the best offensive line in the nation. He is not the top athlete on the list, but more than makes up for it with his versatility and reliability. Jones won the Outland Trophy in 2011 and is a first team lineman on nearly every preseason team list for 2012. He is now listed as center, but has played four positions on the line while at Alabama. His solid play helped Alabama rush for 2,788 yards as a team which ranked 16th in rush yards per game while contributing to Trent Richardson's Heisman finalist season. He is a late first to second round NFL Draft prospect.
2. OT DJ Fluker, Alabama Crimson Tide
Size: 6'6 335 poundsBench Max: 375 lbs Squat Max: 525 lbs 40 Yard Dash: 4.9 secs Stats:
22 career starts at right tackleDraft Rating:
Early/Mid First Round
DJ Fluker is a behemoth on the offensive line and is the top rated lineman on Mel Kiper's Big Board at six overall
. He has played mostly right tackle for the Crimson Tide, but there is a chance that he could be a guard at the next level. His posted weight is actually less than it was in high school and he is currently listed as 335 pounds. Fluker may not be as accomplished as his teammate Barrett Jones, but there are high expectations for him due to his physicality alone. With a little refinement, he should easily maintain his NFL Draft stock.
3. OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan Wolverines
Size: 6'8 302 lbs Bench Max: 335 lbs Squat Max: 450 lbs 40 Yard Dash: 4.72 secs Stats:
Started 22 games in two seasons Draft Rating:
Mid/Early First Round
After a misfit freshman season that involved antics and penalties, Taylor Lewan came back strong and matured some as a sophomore. He is an athletic lineman that has good power for his build and incredible length with his 6'8 height to fight off defenders. The Wolverine lineman has definite first round potential for the NFL Draft coming into his junior season. Lewan started all 13 games last season at left tackle and his athleticism should translate well in the pros.
4. OT Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin Badgers
Size: 6'6 322 lbsBench Max:
N/A40 Yard Dash: 5.32Stats:
Started all 14 games in 2011 and played in 38 games for career Draft Rating:
Late First/ Early Second Round
Ricky Wagner is a durable lineman that rose from walk-on to NFL prospect thus far in his college career. He was a consensus honorable mention on the All-Big Ten team for the past two seasons and is a first team preseason All-American on various lists for 2012. He performs well as a blindside pass blocker at left tackle and is consistently good all around in his play. Wisconsin has traditionally done a great job of prepping players for the NFL and Wagner should be the next.
5. OG Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Size: 6'3 300 lbsBench Max: 340 lbs Squat Max: 500 lbs 40 Yard Dash: 5.3 secsStats:
22 career starts and 36 games playedDraft Rating:
Experienced right guard Omoregie Uzzi is a powerful run blocker for the Ramblin Wreck. He earned First Team All-ACC in 2011 and is a Second Team Phil Steele's 2012 Preseason All-American. His effort on the line helped his team rank second nationally in rushing yards last season with 316.5 yards per game and they ranked in the top four rushing yards in each of his three seasons. He is the most questionable of the top five due to a late season injury, but if he fully recovers, expect another strong season.
Rest of the Top 20 Offensive Linemen
There are a lot of good players on this list that could have placed in the top five and that may have higher NFL Draft potential. Luke Joeckel is a first round prospect, Gabe Ikard has had an outstanding college career, and Travis Frederick's weight room numbers are freakish. Here are the rest of the top 20 offensive linemen in college football for 2012 with their height, weight, and a note on each:6. C Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma: 6'4 295 lbs
, 88 knockdowns on 860 snaps in 2011 according to SoonerSports.com
.7. OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M: 6'6 310 lbs
, First round NFL Draft potential at 16 on Mel Kiper's Big Board
8. OG Travis Frederick Wisconsin: 6'4 328 lbs
, school record 770-lb squat & benchs around 500 lbs. 9. OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina: 6'3 310 lbs
, 2012 Phil Steele's All-American First Team.10. OT Alex Hurst, LSU: 6'6 340 lbs
, 71.5 knockdowns in 767 plays in 2011 according to LSUSports.net
.11. OG Chance Warmack, Alabama: 6'3 320 lbs
, started 26 straight games.12. OT Chris Faulk, LSU: 6'6 325 lbs
, 500-lb squat
& 73.5 knockdowns in 724 snaps in 2011 according to LSUSports.net. 13. OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M: 6'5 305 lbs
, started all 13 games in 2011 & son of Bruce Matthews.14. OG Alvin Bailey, Arkansas: 6'5 319 lbs
, 2011 All SEC Second Team (Coaches), 440-lb bench press & 555-lb squat
.15. C Dalton Freeman, Clemson: 6'5 285 lbs
, 36 career starts & 2012 Rimington Award Watch List. 16. OG Larry Warford, Kentucky: 6'3 336 lbs
, 1 QB sack & graded 87.5 percent in 2011 according to NFLDraftScout.com
.17. OG Blaize Foltz, TCU: 6'4 310 lbs,
2011 All MWC First Team, posted 580-lb bench press & 800-lb squat
.18. C Khaled Holmes, USC: 6'4 305 lbs
, 2011 All Pac-12 Second Team.19. OG Mason Walters, Texas: 6'6 315 lbs
, started 25 games in a row at right guard.20. OG Marcus Martin, USC: 6'3 325 lbs
, 2011 Freshman All-American First Team by various publications.Honorable Mention:
OG Lane Taylor Oklahoma State (6'3 328 lbs
), OT Oday Aboushi Virginia (6'6 310 lbs
), OG Braden Hansen BYU (6'6 313 lbs
), C Braxston Cave* Notre Dame (6'3 304 lbs
), OT Morgan Moses Virginia (6'6 336 lbs
), OG Chris McDonald Michigan State (6'5 299 lbs
), OG Carson York Oregon (6'5 284 lbs
), and OT Cameron Fleming Stanford (6'6 308 lbs
). *Cave benchs 520 lbs
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AP Top 3:1. LSU2. Alabama3. Stanford
Other AP Projections:USC will be ranked in the top 25.Clemson will be in the top six.Boise State will not move to three and will be jumped by another team.
On the AP Bubble:Boise State, Oklahoma State, and Stanford all have a chance at the number three ranking even though I am projecting the Broncos will be jumped. It will most likely be a close call between Stanford and Oklahoma State.
Everyone is waiting for the Big Showdown on November 5, LSU at Alabama
. With two more undefeated teams losing, the SEC powerhouses now completely hold the spotlight for the BCS national championship race. Both teams have next week off before the play.
Chris Fowler showed reflected the media’s anticipation with this tweet to a Twitter follower after LSU’s slow start today, but they went on to pound Auburn: “Tigers don't Need style points. But u know what I meant. Kinda sluggish early. Wasn't worried. 1 vs 2 in 14 days!!”
unexpectedly lost to Texas Tech. Everything seemed to not go the Sooners way in a poor showing ending in a loss to Texas Tech that broke their 39-game home winning streak. A late surge by OU made it close at the end, but Texas Tech had control most of the game led by quarterback Seth Doege (425 yds, 4 TDs). Wisconsin
also lost in dramatic fashion to Michigan State 37-31 via a Hail Mary by Kirk Cousins to Keith Nichol. See YouTube video below.
will move to three in the USA Today Coaches Poll
while their nation high win streak extends to 15. The three spot in the AP Poll will be much closer though. Boise State, Oklahoma State,
all have a chance to fill the slot. The Broncos were fifth last week in the AP and would be the next up, but Boise State’s win over Air Force 37-26 was not near the eye popping 65-21 win of Stanford over Washington. I project Stanford will move to three in the AP Top 25, but I may be wrong since Oklahoma State has just as much of a chance at the three spot. Boise State will not move to three and will be jumped in the rankings by one of the teams or both. Clemson
will at least be in the AP top six and may challenge for number five. Clemson was tied last week in the USA Today Coaches poll with Oregon for eighth so they will at least move to six.
will break into the AP Top 25 after their 31-17 win over Notre Dame. Of course, they do not qualify for any of the BCS component rankings, but they were one of the last teams out of the AP rankings last week.
I also included a link to Bleacher Report for the BCS projected standings
even though they are now outdated due to upsets. ESPN reported Brad Edwards projected the BCS top five to be: Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma State, Stanford,
. I would say that Alabama/LSU, and Oklahoma State are a lock for the BCS top three since Stanford had such a low computer ranking last week, but that will improve after their win against Washington and as the season progresses. Bleacher Report had LSU projected at number one.
Bleacher Report Projected BCS Rankings 2011: Predicting Whether the Top 25 Will Move Up or Down:http://bleacherreport.com/articles/906360-projected-bcs-rankings-2011-predicting-whether-the-top-25-will-move-up-or-down?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=BR_CrimsonTide&utm_source=twitter.com
Projected AP Top 4:1. LSU2. Oklahoma3. Alabama4. Boise State
Other AP Projections:
Clemson in the Top 10.
Auburn back in the Top 25.
TCU out of the Top 25.
SMU will get votes.
AP Top 25 Bubble teams :
Oklahoma State may lose the fifth spot since they are idle. Wisconsin and Stanford are teams still competing on the bubble for a top five AP ranking.
Michigan State and Kansas State may break the rankings, but are close calls.
Florida State may drop out of the Top 25.
Houston may stay just outside the Top 25.
Eight AP Top 25 teams lost in week five so there should be some shake ups in the rankings especially the lower half (Possibly more since Stanford and Arizona State are still playing as this was published).
AP Top 25 teams that lost in week five: Nebraska, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Florida, Texas A&M, Baylor, South Florida, and TCU.
LSU will hold the top spot this week. Oklahoma and Alabama should be a close call once again for second. I believe the Sooners will pull it out, but the Tide and SEC faithful voters may keep that from happening. However, Oklahoma demolished Ball State and next up is the Red River Rivalry versus Texas; the media may keep them ranked at second for that upcoming game. Boise State should hold fourth after their domination over Nevada.
The fifth spot will once again be a toss-up, but Oklahoma State is the most likely to lose their spot since they were idle this week. Wisconsin had a dominating win over Nebraska that left Madison Jumping Around. Stanford was leading UCLA as this was published.
Clemson will be ranked in the top 10 after their win versus 11th ranked Virginia Tech since teams ranked ahead of the Tigers being Nebraska, South Carolina, and Florida all lost.Auburn will make another appearance in the AP Top 25 after the Tigers beat 10th ranked South Carolina today. Jon Solomon, Sports columnist and reporter at The Birmingham News, tweeted, “Bad clock management by Spurrier. Say what you want about Auburn, they are incredibly tough-minded.”
Michigan State may also break the Top 25 after their defensive led win over Ohio State since they were the 26th ranked team in week five. But I’m unsure if they will due to the volatility of this week’s games and Auburn should make it in over them since they beat a higher ranked team. Florida State which was ranked 23rd for week five was idle so they may drop out. Kansas State after their win over ranked Baylor will also be another team that will either break the Top 25 or remain just outside. Houston was another bubble team just outside the rankings for week five, but their close win over large underdog UTEP may hold them just outside.
The TCU Horned Frogs will drop out of the AP Top 25 beginning week six of this college football season after their overtime loss to SMU for the Iron Skillet. After losing to Baylor week one, the Frogs dropped 11 spots in the poll from 14 to 25 so they will easily fall out of the rankings since they were ranked 20th coming into this week. SMU’s contingency in Texas such as former player and commentator Craig James will ensure them some votes in the poll, but I’m unsure if they will break the top 25.