Assembled is a preseason ranking for the top guards in College Football Recruiting for the class of 2013. Overall, this year’s guard class is pretty solid, with a lot of guys that are underrated, in my opinion. But it is outstanding at the top of the list. Here’s a quick breakdown of the top three…
1. Grant Hill –Huntsville (AL) Huntsville- At 6’6’’ and 315lbs, Hill has phenomenal size for a guard, and absolutely has the ability to move over and play outside at tackle. Just watching the film on Hill and seeing him in some of the summer camps, you can tell how fundamentally sound he is. Hill has a great kick step, strong hands, and a nasty demeanor. Hill can be beaten on some double moves and counter moves inside, but with good coaching and some more experience it shouldn’t be a problem for long. Don’t expect this Alabama commit to waiver on his status. Early Prediction: Alabama.
2. Khaliel Rodgers– Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian Academy- Rodgers has definitely helped himself this summer with excellent performances on the camp circuits. At 6’3’’ 300lbs, Rodgers has also had the luxury of going against one of the top defensive prospects in the country (Kenny Bigelow) every day at his ECA practices. Incidentally, both recently gave verbal commitments to Southern Cal. Rodgers has a massive frame, and could very easily play center in college as well, even though he doesn’t have much experience there. While Rodgers does have quick feet, he still struggles to get to the second level while blocking, which will be a dilemma considering the zone blocking scheme that Southern Cal employs. Early Prediction: Southern Cal.
3. Reeve Koehler– Honolulu (HI) St. Louis- The 6’3’’ 330lb Koehler is a straight nasty run blocker. One his best attributes is his aggressiveness, something all football coaches love to see. He will definitely benefit from proper coaching and a workout regimen to help get rid of some of the baby fat. Koehler is just bursting with potential, having fantastic size, strength and a great football mentality. He just needs some time to properly develop. While Koehler has offers from all over, he has shown the most interest in Washington, Arizona State, Tennessee and Georgia. While it may seem strange for a Hawaiian kid to go all the way over to the southeast to play ball, Koehler has a lot of family in Nashville, something he has indicated as a big selling point for him. Early Prediction: Tennessee.
This is truly a fluid list, and it will probably change half a dozen times between now and signing day, showing how close the top guards are to each other. But for the class as a whole, it tends to be recognized as somewhat top heavy, with few elite prospects. I believe it’s very underrated, however, and throughout the fall there will be more attention given to some of the most under-appreciated players in the game.