As the game of football evolves on the highest level, so will the way fans watch and evaluate great collegiate talent. Running backs can often still dominate the NCAA field because of their youth, lack of contract risk for the school and coaches willing to sacrifice the legs of a young star for greater return today.
Yet, it’s the positions that matter most in the NFL that standout the most on Saturdays. As the game continues to become an air it out attack at the highest level, the style trickles down to Saturday in the SEC, ACC and Big 10.
The ability to throw the ball, get after the quarterback and protect the quarterback are paramount to success. When it comes to protecting the biggest and best arm on the team, perhaps no ACC squad does it as well as the Virginia Cavaliers.
Morgan Moses and Oday Aboushi aren’t just excellent bookend offensive tackles. They might be the best pair of offensive lineman sharing the same locker room in college football.
Both are on the Outland and Lombardi preseason watch lists. Both can play multiple positions on the line. Both could be NFL Draft picks. In fact, some NFL scouts see Aboushi as a first-round selection.
Understandably, head coach Mike London is thrilled with his bruising combination up front.
“I think there’s a level of experience there that we have,” London said. “…From a recognition standpoint, from a physical skills standpoint, they’ve been in big games and have played on both sides so it has to be one of our strengths, to protect the edge, and hopefully they’ll do a good job of doing that.”
With Moses dropping 30 pounds in the offseason in an effort to gain quickness and Aboushi coming off a season where he was named ACC lineman of the week twice, there’s little doubting the expectations for 2012.
“From what I’ve seen from them in games, when you have two guys who have played both positions, left and right … the notoriety they’ve garnered is based on accomplishments on the field,” London said. “Their skill level at the tackles those two guys have I think does make at least consideration for being one of the best pair (in the country).”
Good luck getting into the Virginia backfield, ACC defensive linemen.