Texas Longhorns Latest Offer: Scouting 2013 OL Andrew Billings

Juggernaut lives. Check out the highlight at 2:02 if you want to see a DL actually have an existential crisis on the field. "I have three more quarters of this."

Billings, a high school junior, would be one of the strongest members of the Longhorn football team and is stronger than most NFL players his size. Check out these vitals from March testing of this year:

Bench - 470

Squat - 700

Deadlift - 650

That's a 1820 combined lift and it's real damn strong. If you're not familiar with powerlifting rules, all bench press numbers come from a pause bench press. The bar comes to a complete stop on your chest to prevent bouncing upward momentum so that it can be considered a good lift. That's not a requirement in any Golds gym or combine testing, so Billings is actually "stronger" than his 470 bench press.

For a guy that strong, that young, I worry about plateau. Then I stumbled across this. These THSPA numbers from Billings' sophomore year show that just 13 months before (and 30 pounds lighter) his lifting splits were 345-485-515. He's added 475 pounds to his lift total in just over a year. Obviously, this rate of increase will slow, but he's nowhere near maxed out as a power athlete. A 550+ bench and 800 in the squat are perfectly reasonable goals if he wants them (though I'd argue from a football perspective those numbers represent diminishing returns in on field performance and his time would be better spent working on his feet, football skills, and conditioning).

Enough about powerlifting. What about Billings on the field? And what did Longhorn coaches see in person at camp that so blew them away?

His applied strength is evident. Plenty of muscle heads struggle to apply their power on the field because they don't have the athletic ability to do it. Billings is powerful (which is better than strong as it speaks to application) and his initial punch is brutal. It's small space athleticism and it's not just for wide receivers. Naturally, he had 134 pancakes last year. Disregard his OT position - he has to be an interior OL in college due to his height and feet, but I was quite encouraged to see solid defensive highlights from him at NT and even lined up at DE as a pass rusher. Billings is certainly not as good an athlete as Harker Heights product Darius James, but he avoids my dreaded offense only specialization that generally tells you something about an OL's athletic ability and aggression. He has a motor and he can move. He's not going to tear up the basketball court (maybe the Asian courts), but that's OK.

Billings becomes less effective the longer the distance and he's not going to be de-cleating safeties 20 yards downfield on a bubble screen in a college game, but he has plenty of athletic ability in his first two steps. Look at the quick burst swim move he puts on as a NT. Check out his initial punch blocking down. That's all I really care about at OG. Larry Allen probably couldn't run a mile, but you wouldn't want to fight him in a broom closet. If you're interested in establishing an offense built on interior run game bullying and play action off of it, Billings is your man. Put him in a spread offense where he's facing DEs playing DT lined up in a track stance knowing that a pass is coming and he'll be markedly less effective.

I have two major concerns about Billings.

6-1, 305 at his age can easily become 6-1, 350 as a college junior if he isn't sufficiently motivated or our S&C coaches refuse to share a vision of what his proper body composition should be. He could easily Taylor Bible it. It's much more fun to add pounds to your bench press than run line drills in the June heat. All of his power is useless if he lacks the motor to put it on people. Football is a game of movement, even on the interior line, and if Billings is sluggish, he'll be an oversized chew toy for the pit bulls lined up across from him.

At his height, short arms are a major disadvantage in pass protection. A 6-4 DT with orangutan arms can rip and control while T-rex arms flail. According to Billings' high school coach, Andrew has long arms. The tape seems to agree. Which makes his lifting numbers even more spectacular and gives him some hope in pass protection.

In any event, this is a really interesting prospect, who, if properly guided and (self) motivated has a real shot at contributing. His recruitment also tells you something about Searels' desire to add some nasty into our OL stock.

Thoughts?

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