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Top 5 Offensive Linemen of 2014 College Football Recruiting Class

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2014 College Football Recruiting: Top 5 OL

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

In the last installment of the top five, I took a look at the top tight ends of the 2014 college football recruiting class. In this post I rank the big boys up front, the top five offensive linemen in this class.

Like everything else this day and age, the offensive lineman position is evolving and changing as the years go on. Players up front on the line are as big and strong as they ever have been, but they are also getting more and more athletic each year. Main reason for that is kids are becoming more and more aware of weight training and workouts they can do to better themselves.

This position I believe is underrated by most people. Many tend to overlook lineman for the “skill” position player like a receiver or running back. However, without a solid lineman protecting the quarterback or making holes for the running back, those skilled players find it very hard to succeed. A good lineman can go a long way for your program.

I might be just a tad biased with this example but it is very true. Look at the Wisconsin Badgers and their linemen as it relates to how successful their running backs are. It seems year in and year out they bring out great linemen and the running backs run wild over opposing defenses.

A good offensive lineman does not necessarily mean he is the biggest on the field. It’s about foot work and technique, but being big and muscular is a nice bonus.

So let’s take a look at who I believe are the best of the best when it comes to offensive linemen in the 2014 college football recruiting class.

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5. Damian Prince (Forestville, MD/Bishop McNamara)

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

We kick off the list with Prince who is a physical, skilled lineman. Prince gets off the ball very quick and has good technique blocking the defender.

Where Prince shines right now is his run blocking. With his explosiveness Prince is able to get to the defender across from him and then to the next level with ease. Prince’s motor never stops and he keeps playing until the whistle blows which is what you like to see in a lineman.

Prince stands tall at 6’6” and weighs right around 300 pounds. With the right weight training program, Prince will be able to add more muscle and strength to his already strong frame.

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4. Donell Stanley (Latta, SC/Latta)

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

I know I said size isn’t everything, but when you see a big guy like Stanley it’s hard not to pay attention. Stanley weighs right around 315 pounds and stands 6’4” tall making him a very intimidating player to line up across from.

Strength is not an issue for Stanley as he has no problem pushing defenders out of the way and throwing his weight around. He makes sure he gets the initial block before heading to the next defender. Stanley is a headhunter, looking for as many defenders as he can to block.

Stanley is starting to see more and more offers come his way with his home-state South Carolina Gamecocks as the early favorite.

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3. Braden Smith (Olathe, KS/Olathe South Sr.)

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Smith is a very talented lineman that could see himself at the top of this list at the end of the season.

Many of the nation’s top programs have offered Smith with many more to come and with good reason. Smith is a hard-nosed, old school type of player that is very strong and very physical. Weighing just under 300 pounds, Smith is a great physical presence but does not lose any athleticism at all.

Having what it takes to excel at the next level already, Smith is college football-ready and will benefit greatly with weight training at the next level. With top programs like the Alabama Crimson Tide, Ohio State Buckeyes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish among others fighting for him, Smith will be a highly sought-after recruit this upcoming season.

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2. K.C. McDermott (West Palm Beach, FL/Palm Beach Central)

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Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Another player that will make a serious case for being top OL before years end, McDermott is the total package. McDermott’s two older brothers are also lineman, but K.C. is far and away the better of the three.

At 6’6” tall and weighing around 285 pounds, McDermott is strong and physical but loses no speed or technique with that. Also McDermott is one of the most agile lineman in this class.

McDermott is a very sought-after recruit, and for good reason. He has everything you look for a lineman and then some. McDermott has great technique, exceptional strength and agility and is very quick on his feet. K.C. plays until the whistle blows and never gives up on a play.

Already a 2014 Under-Armour All-America Game selection, McDermott will choose his school of choice at the end of March. Two schools are the favorites to land McDermott, the Miami Hurricanes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

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1. Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, LA/West Monroe)

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Right in the middle of SEC country, Robinson is by far the consensus number one offensive lineman in the 2014 recruiting class.

Cameron Robinson is everything that embodies a great offensive lineman. Standing 6’6” tall and weighing 325 pounds, Robinson is not just some big guy throwing defenders around. He gets out of his stance very quickly and has a punch that neutralizes defenders. Not to mention, Cameron has great footwork and gets down the field very quickly for a big man looking for more people to block. His athleticism is also very exceptional for a guy his size. From size to strength, quickness to athleticism, Robinson has everything it takes to be a collegiate lineman.

Robinson has been offered by numerous top programs around the country, with the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers the top two. Expect many more to come Robinson’s way as the months go on.

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