SEC Football: SEC Top 5 Offensive Lines
Sec Top 5 Offensive Lines
The SEC has always been considered a rushing conference. There is no doubting that if you want to win big in the SEC, you must have to maintain great offensive line play. The National Champions who have came out of this league have all had great quarterbacks, running backs and defense. But there is one common theme that stands out the most is their offensive lineman's dominant play each snap.
In the SEC, the offense starts with its offensive line play. Those blue-collar hard-nose bruisers that pound each play to create holes for teammates. They may be viewed as non-important compared to the skill players that go out there and make plays.
But we saw how important the offensive line is last January in the national championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame. They were dominant play after play in the running game, which complimented the play-action. Championship winning offenses have to control the ball, chew the clock, and run the football when they want to and when they have to.
This season, many SEC teams believe they have the talent, experience to win a SEC championship and contend for a national championship. Many will have the skill players needed to move the football downfield, but offensive line must be efficient throughout the season if a team wants to make it to Atlanta and Pasadena when it's all said and done.
There are many team's vying for a title in 2013 who has a solid line to complete the task.
Come and find out which teams have the best lines in the SEC this season.
Georgia Bulldogs will have to be able to have a steady throw and pass balance with Mike Bobo calling the plays in 2013. The Dawgs are led by seniors Dallas Lee and Chris Burnette at the guards. David Andrews will come back at center for his senior season. Offensive Line coach, Will Friend will also for left tackle Kenarious Gates to have a solid senior campaign manning that left tackle position.
The Bulldogs will need some solid play from the line this season. The line has to be a factor with all the hype surrounding the offense with quarterback Aaron Murray coming back for his senior season. More talented added depth will be a plus for an already solid starting five.
4. Texas A&M
The Aggies front will have to replace one of the best left tackles last season, No. 2 pick, Jacksonville Jaguars' Luke Joeckel in 2013. But right tackle, Jake Matthews will shift over to blindside left tackle this season and his younger brother, Mike, will come in to replace Patrick Lewis at center. Cedric Ogbuehi moves from guard to right tackle to fill the void of Jake Matthews.
This group was a factor in Johnny Manziel's Heisman Trophy run last season. They will be counted on again this season with the solid running game that is going to be used in excess with a slew of talented backs on the team. With all the media that will be hovering around Manziel this season, the O-Line must ease the pressure of their quarterback with running room and keep the pressure off him. This is a hard task but it has to be done for A&M's star-powered offense.
The Tigers offensive line looks to be the strength of Cam Cameron's offense. However, the reshuffled line will only feature three starters from last season. Junior La'el Collins will be moving from left guard to left tackle this season and redshirt freshman Jerald Hawkins will come into the tribe at right tackle. Trai Turner will remain at right guard and Vadal Alexander will switch over to left guard after playing in 2012 at right tackle. Junior Elliot Porter will take over this season at center.
The unit will not have the most experience coming into this season. But the only question that remains is the group's communication and chemistry. This is a young group who's had very little playing time together going into 2013. Also Porter must reassure the LSU coaches that he can maintain a solid performance level this season handling the center position.
After three starters left for the NFL last season, first-year offensive line coach Mario Cristobal must slide in key reserves from a year ago. Cyrus Kouandjio comes back from a solid season at left tackle in 2012. Kouandjio is a great tackle with his flexibility and low pad-level. His younger brother, Arie, will step in to replace Chance Warmack at left guard this season. Arie is a very versatile player and could possibly see some action at right tackle as well. Austin Shepherd will step in to that right tackle spot voided by San Diego Chargers first round pick D.J. Fluker. Senior Anthony Steen will remain at right guard and a possible star, sophomore Ryan Kelly will be counted on as A.J. McCarrons' battery at center for Nick Saban's Tide.
This is an inexperienced line but has possible All-Americans in the making. Barrett Jones, D.J. Fluker and Chance Warmack are gone this year, but this line has the talent to be even better than that national champion line last season. This could just be the next ingredients in the dynasty that Nick Saban is building in Tuscaloosa.
The Volunteers have at least two NFL-caliber players on the offensive front this season. Dynamic duo junior Antonio "Tiny" Richardson returns as the blindside left tackle followed by Ja'Wuan James on the other side. Richardson and James are two of the best tackles in the nation, it just so happens they play on the same team. James has played in every Tennessee game the last three seasons at right tackle.
Tennessee brings back the most starts combined by their starting offensive lineman in the SEC. The player that gets left unnoticed is center James Stone, who was named as one of the elite centers on the Rimington Trophy watch list. This award is given out to the nation's top center.