EDITOR’S NOTE: Introducing O-line week at Saturday Down South. This week we’ll talk to some of the biggest offensive line recruits and commitments in the SEC, get their take on things … and we’ll rank ’em.
Jadeveon Clowney … Barkevious Mingo … Sharrif Floyd … Marcell Dareus …. and the list goes on and on and on.
The SEC’s overall talent on the defensive line is legendary. Many argue it is the biggest reason the SEC is as dominant as it is. But standing on the other side of the line of scrimmage is a pretty darned good group of hawgs that savors the challenge. In fact, this year there are more impressive offensive linemen coming out of the conference than there are defensive linemen. Think about it … Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews and Cyrus Kouandjio could all be gone early Thursday night in the first-round of the NFL Draft. Clowney may go first, but those three O-linemen may go before the next D-lineman from the SEC.
These guys ain’t sexy, and they’ll tell you that. They love being in the Anonymous Club. They don’t need the sacks and the Sportscenter clips … and many of them go on to very long NFL careers, while their brethren at the more flashy positions rely more on youthful speed and have shorter careers. For these hawgs, what makes them good–along with quick feet and a good frame–is their wits.
Alabama offensive lineman commitment Richie Petitbon, whose grandfather by the same name coached in the NFL, said its a challenge he is looking forward to.
“Playing one of the positions on the O-line, you just have defensive linemen running straight at you trying to crush people,” Petitbon told Saturday Down South. “I mean, the quarterback is the most important player on the field, but a good O-lineman is next, I think. You have to know just as much as the quarterback. The blocking schemes, everything. People who don’t know what it takes to be a good offensive lineman, you just have to be in that film room to see … All five guys (on the line) have to be on the same page.
“Growing up and throughout my whole life, my dad (who played at Maryland) has told me ‘to be the best you have to beat the best’. And what better place to do that than playing on the O-line in the SEC and doing it at Alabama, where every week you go against guys who probably will be first-round draft picks? You know what they say, that the NFL has three conferences … the NFC the AFC and the SEC. That factored greatly into my decision and I’m looking forward to getting down to Alabama and competing. The cream rises to the top.”
It’ll be a week of Saturday Down South love and respect for the Anonymous Club. Stay tuned.