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2009 Texas Football Recruiting: OL

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If you want to look at their high school accomplishments/stats.

OL

We still have no idea what we're trying to recruit to or do philosophically - Thomas Ashcraft is going to reach block on zone plays? - but at least we have some quality guys in case we ever do get an actual philosophy in the running game. All four of them either are, or have the potential, to be excellent pass blockers, so that's good news.

Come to think of it, I just figured out our OL recruiting philosophy: pass protection.

Just like our philosophy at RB.

Mason Walters OT 6-5 300 Wofforth, TX

An athletic freak created from a test tube with the DNA of a Yeti crossed with Doug Dawson. Great technique, superior flexibility, massive frame, motor, and a vicious streak. The only guy I've seen that size play center at a high level was TCU's Rex Tucker, but the big pay checks for him are at LT. He will eventually be moved out there and if Tre Allen continues to flounder, that could be as early as this year. In the short term, he can help us at any position on the OL and he'll be on our two deep by the end of August somewhere. No redshirt, plays right away. Probable starter as a true sophomore, barring injury. One of the best three recruits in this class. You should be excited that he's a Longhorn.

Garrett Porter OT 6-6 305 Odessa, TX

I like Porter as a pass blocker. Great big old boy who stones pass rushers once he gets his hands on them. Gerry Hamilton described him as having a flat back in the running game, but he absolutely doesn't in any piece of film I've ever seen. Permian had their OL line up without a hand down on many of their snaps and you can tell that Garrett is used to mauling in the run game based on his size and strength rather than low pads and good technique. Bad habits that he'll quickly discard in Oklahoma drills. I'd heard indications from the cognoscenti that he'd need to move inside. He might, but right now I like him just fine as a RT. I'd like for him to redshirt, remake his body, and work on flexibility. Don't just eat and bench, Garrett.

Thomas Ashcraft OG 6-4 310 Cedar Hill, TX

Henry James had a nice scouting report on him in his Signing Day cry for help. Ashcraft is bottom heavy, plays with some fire, and packs a big punch at the point of the attack. He'll top out at 330+ if we don't watch him carefully. Although he's coordinated, he doesn't move all that well laterally, and he has tendency to waddle when he's trying to track someone down in space. Mack said he could play guard or tackle, but that's nonsense. He's a guard all the way. Honestly, I'd be much happier about Ashcraft if I had any indication that we were going to play a run game scheme that played to his strengths, but the thought of him zone blocking right now is pretty dire. A bit like watching poor Michael Huey. Maybe we'll get him a jump rope and get him doing a lot of plyometrics as I know Mad Dog is eager to cater all of his workout regimens to the specific individual. Ahem. Worst case: we have a strong anchor at OG in pass protection who won't give up an internal push and who works hard on every snap. On goalline plays where he actually gets to block head up, he'll murder people.

Paden Kelley OT 6-6 270 Austin, TX

Ah, the controversial Paden Kelly. Look, here's my thought: generally 17 year old physically immature OL with a lean frame who haven't spent much time lifting (because of a severe shoulder injury) are generally the least well-served by the spotlight of the All-Star games. Unlike the oft-cited Trey Bates or Jason Glynn, you can see real athletic ability, a big frame, and a high level of aggression. You also need to take a closer look at how his body has changed in just one short year. A redshirt and three more years in the weight room will do wonders for his base and his overall strength - particularly when he's walking around at 310. His bad moments in the All-Star game were largely compensatory - worried about a lack of strength, his technique falls apart as he tries to deliver a blow, then he loses his base. Increase strength, base gets better, technique resurfaces. I could see him moving inside, but RT isn't out of the question. If we're going to play run zone schemes where we value screening and foot movement more than push and decleaters, Kelly makes some sense. If this is considered a reach, I'll take it all day over Riley Dodge and Jason Barron.

I pray that all four of our OL recruits can find Todd Wright's cell phone number.