August 14, 2010

Preseason unit rankings: Offensive linemen

Here is part three of our national unit rankings.

We are unveiling one unit per day and will end next Thursday with overall coaching staffs.

The rankings take into account what the players have accomplished, how we think the players will do this season and sheer talent. But production does trump potential.

Here are the offensive line rankings. Next up: defensive line.

OFFENSIVE LINE UNIT RANKINGS

1. WISCONSIN
BUZZ: This should be one of the best Badgers lines in the past 20 years. T Gabe Carimi is the anchor and leader. G John Moffitt is another stud on this big, physical, brawling front.

2. OREGON
BUZZ: The Ducks led the Pac-10 in rushing last season and all five starters are back. T Bo Thran is the best of the bunch.

3. FLORIDA
BUZZ: Four starters are back, including all-star candidates at center in Mike Pouncey - who moves over from guard to replace his twin, Maurkice - and guard in Carl Johnson. RT Marcus Gilbert does an underrated job.

4. OHIO STATE
BUZZ: This group looks strong with four starters back. The unit is led by the three "Bs": G Justin Boren, C Michael Brewster and G Bryant Browning. Boren is a beast on the interior. And staffers love T Marcus Hall.

5. GEORGIA
BUZZ: The Bulldogs return all five starters. T Clint Boling is the star.

6. FLORIDA STATE
BUZZ: All-America G Rodney Hudson - a potential four-time All-ACC pick - anchors a line that returns all five starters.

7. STANFORD
BUZZ: Four starters return from a group that allowed only seven sacks in '09 and paved the way for the country's second-leading rusher. Sophomore G David DeCastro is a star on the rise.

8. BOSTON COLLEGE
BUZZ: The list of four returning starters includes potential first-round pick Anthony Castonzo at tackle and All-ACC candidate Thomas Claiborne at guard.

9. ALABAMA
BUZZ: The Tide need to replace two starters, including star G Mike Johnson. But there is talent waiting in the wings. Sophomore G Barrett Jones has all-league potential.

10. TCU
BUZZ: T Marcus Cannon is an All-America candidate who anchors a line that returns four starters. C Jake Kirkpatrick also should contend for All-America honors.

11. USC
BUZZ: C Kris O'Dowd, T Tyron Smith and G Butch Lewis will be in the mix for all-conference honors.

12. BYU
BUZZ: Junior T Matt Reynolds doesn't get enough notice nationally. He is one of four returning starters for the Cougars.

DON'T OVERLOOK THESE 5
Auburn, Boise State, Connecticut, Fresno State, West Virginia

(Rankings by Rivals.com staffers Olin Buchanan, Tom Dienhart, David Fox, Mike Huguenin and Steve Megargee.)




 

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