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Maverick.AU    657

When asked about his 5 OL he listed these. Do you agree with Cole? Cole has also mentioned with Bell that "if he's in shape, he starts"

I couldn't find a thread already started on the OL

Edited by Maverick.AU
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WarDamnEagleWDE    2,604
23 minutes ago, Maverick.AU said:

When asked about his 5 OL he listed these. Do you agree with Cole? Cole has also mentioned with Bell that "if he's in shape he starts"

I couldn't find a thread already started on the OL

PTega is going to get a lot of reps with Smith to see if PTega can go. AU was hoping Ashley could slide in but he isn't ready. But that lineup sounds about right. As of now. 

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mcgufcm    804

I've said for a while that we have three locks for starting spots:  Smith, Golson, and Horton. Assuming James is putting in the off-season work to show up in top shape, he's probably in the lock group as well.

That does not answer what position those guys will be playing, but I'll be surprised to see any of them out of the starting lineup. Horton at LG is the only one that feels 100% locked into a position. Golson could play C, RG, or T (although I think him playing LT last year was the weakest spot on the line at the start of the season). Smith can play RG or RT. James can play LT, RT, or RG.

Wilson Bell at RG makes a lot of sense unless PT Wanogho or Ashley make a splash at LT or RT. Dunn at C or RG would also make some sense, but if he's the C, the question becomes whether Smith shifts inside with Golson at RT or whether Golson just slides over.

We'll get it sorted out pretty quickly this fall.

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WDE_OxPx_2010    449
1 minute ago, WarDamnEagleWDE said:

AU was hoping Ashley could slide in but he isn't ready

Is Ashley on campus yet or is this from people that know? Seems odd to count him as not ready before he's even in Fall camp

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mcgufcm    804

He's on campus. Showed up a touch heavy (like 350 pounds), but Malzahn says he's down 20 pounds or so.

He's going to have to look really, really good to move past Wanogho and push Smith or James to Guard.

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oracle79    816
2 hours ago, Maverick.AU said:

When asked about his 5 OL he listed these. Do you agree with Cole?

I could live with that. I like keeping Golson at center.

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McLoofus    3,559

In my personal ideal scenario, Dunn would win that center spot and we'd slide Golson all the way right. I just figure that Smith is the only guy in the group who is definitely an all-conference player at his current position, so I'd love to keep him there. 

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I like this starting 5 and it's the 5 I expected as well. 

The possibilities to mix it up would be Dunn at C, which would move AG to T most likely which would set off a good bit of shuffling. 

Or if either Ashley or Tega are ready to take over a T spot. That would likely cause a little less shuffling. 

The good news to take away from this discussion is A. The core of a pretty good OL from last year is back which gives this year's OL the potential to be very good! and B. We have a lot of depth (probably 9-10 good OL) which allows us to entertain several scenarios. 

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Jgarrett7    115

How's the other Prince on the line coming along? I remember a lot of people in the know we're pumped about his signing.

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I haven't heard much about PS lately. The last I heard (a few months ago) he was doing very well, right there with Tega as "almost ready to be a solid SEC OT."

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ValleyTiger    550
3 hours ago, Maverick.AU said:

When asked about his 5 OL he listed these. Do you agree with Cole? Cole has also mentioned with Bell that "if he's in shape he starts"

I couldn't find a thread already started on the OL

That's a solid starting group, but I'm still very worried about our OTs in pass pro. 

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Jgarrett7    115
53 minutes ago, AUpreacherman22 said:

I haven't heard much about PS lately. The last I heard (a few months ago) he was doing very well, right there with Tega as "almost ready to be a solid SEC OT."

Thanks. If half these guys we've signed the past couple years live up to their hype we will have a very good oline for next few years. 

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triangletiger    405
2 hours ago, McLoofus said:

In my personal ideal scenario, Dunn would win that center spot and we'd slide Golson all the way right. I just figure that Smith is the only guy in the group who is definitely an all-conference player at his current position, so I'd love to keep him there. 

Agreed.  If we can avoid shifting Smith to OT, that is one less variable on the OL to have to figure out.  

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mcgufcm    804

I don't know if that's true. Horton is a Guard. Bell, if he's in shape, is a Guard. If that's true, moving Smith out may be the only way to get our best five on the field.

It's up in the air for all our guys how they will handle added pass protection. Really Wilson Bell and Austin Golson are the only guys that have played in a balanced or pass-heavy offense for any amount of time. There's a myth that Tackles are the only ones really adjusting to increased pass pro because they're dealing with rush ends, but Guard assignments are very different in run/pass protections as well. Everyone has to adjust. We're lacking a clear NFL-caliber Tackle, but I don't think there's any question that Smith or James are as proficient as Leff or Ryan Pugh or a number of other guys that have ably manned the Tackle spot for us in the past.

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aubiefifty    508

anyone up on bell from fsu? i got a buddy that is a fsu fan and he said bell rarely ever started and was lazy etc. anyone know? i figured he was messing with me but you never know..........thanx ahead of time....

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Randman5000    464

We need this group to play well to let Stidham shine. . On paper,I'm not stoked about it. I'm hoping for a surprise like last year's linebackers

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ellitor    4,705
8 hours ago, WarDamnEagleWDE said:

PTega is going to get a lot of reps with Smith to see if PTega can go. AU was hoping Ashley could slide in but he isn't ready. But that lineup sounds about right. As of now. 

I wouldn't rule him out yet unless you have more info besides his weight issue.. He's already dropped 20 lbs off the 350 he came in at.

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boomstick    314

It's just me, but I really don't want to move Golson from C unless we absolutely have to do it. I think having that stability at C is crucial, especially with all the other possible changes. I'd really like to keep the guy that knows the calls and protections in that spot and not put in someone new at that position. 

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Beaker    369

Did I hear we have the most experienced line in the SEC or NCAA?  I think I heard one on a podcast...

You guys make me worry from what I read.   If we have one of the most experienced, geez, our D should pillage the other teams I am guessing.

 

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AlaskanFAN    369

Well who ever the inside 3 are better get real good real quick. Come clempson they have to deal with 2 of the, if not the 2 best DL in the nation in, 6'4 310 1st team All American Christian Wilkins and 6'5 340 Frehman All American Dexter Lawrence. Both of which made the Sports Illustrated 2017 Freaks: Top workout warriors.

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Beaker    369
4 hours ago, AlaskanFAN said:

Well who ever the inside 3 are better get real good real quick. Come clempson they have to deal with 2 of the, if not the 2 best DL in the nation in, 6'4 310 1st team All American Christian Wilkins and 6'5 340 Frehman All American Dexter Lawrence. Both of which made the Sports Illustrated 2017 Freaks: Top workout warriors.

Joy....

I bet their D is just licking their chops as they see JFIII line up (too much speed), K Pettway and J Stidham on the field.  Sarcasm. We have players too.

Your point is spot on though, we better bring our lunchpail.  

 

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WFE12    709

Mike Horton is primed to be Auburn football’s next great offensive lineman

AUBURN, Ala. — Braden Smith knows a strong guard when he sees one. After all, he just spent two years as a starter there for Auburn football.

The All-SEC selection’s move from guard to right tackle in spring practice, after longtime starting left guard Alex Kozan’s departure, created a hole in Auburn’s depth chart. But Smith sees a lot out of a possible new starter Mike Horton.

 

“He’s a really talented player,” Smith said last week at SEC Media Days. “I’d say he probably could’ve started last year, especially on some other teams. But he waited his time. He’s putting in the work.”

MORE: Braden Smith is willing to do whatever Auburn asks in senior season

The 6-foot-4, 318-pound redshirt sophomore has been a hot name around Auburn’s football building since he arrived in 2015. The Atlanta native spent his first year as a redshirt freshman making a name for himself in practices with his strong work on the scout team.

Last year, under first-year offensive line coach Herb Hand, Horton was a reserve at right guard. More importantly for his future, though, Horton played as the extra offensive lineman in jumbo packages.

The “sixth man” has been a success for Auburn under Gus Malzahn. Smith filled the spot in 2014 before taking over as a starter. Robert Leff took the role in 2015 and had an impressive senior season as the Tigers top right tackle in 2016.

This spring, Horton took over Smith’s right guard spot in practices. Hand was impressed with his first run as a “starter.”

 

“Yeah, Mike‘s a physical dude inside,” Hand said in the spring. “He’ll come off the ball and displace people. You know, when you have Braden on one side of you — if you’re double teaming a three-technique, for instance — that helps. … And then Austin Golson on the other side who has got a lot of experience. Those guys, Mike‘s had the benefit of playing between that, which is always a good thing.”

Auburn football-Mike Horton-Auburn Tigers
Auburn offensive lineman Mike Horton is in line to take over one of the Tigers’ open spots at first-team guard in 2017. (Kenny Moss/Special to SEC Country)

Horton will enter fall camp as a strong contender to be a starter. But he isn’t the only candidate.

Auburn added former Florida State guard Wilson Bell as a graduate transfer this summer. The 355-pound Bell started 18 games for the Seminoles at right guard over the last two seasons.

Bell could plug into right guard and force Horton, who played some left guard with Marquel Harrell in spring camp, to the other side.

However, the arrival of another graduate transfer — center Casey Dunn from Jacksonville State — could put Austin Golson on the move. The Tigers could realistically start five seniors on their starting line in 2017.

But it’s fair to say Horton has the best shot of any non-senior to start this fall. Like Smith, Golson thought Horton could have started as a redshirt freshman in 2016.

 

“You could throw him in there right now in the starting five and he’ll be just fine; I believe for sure he could do that,” Golson said last December. “I think he’s gotten so much better as the year’s gone on, and he’s become more of a leader as well. I look forward to getting to play with him in the future.”

MORE: Auburn’s 2017 SEC Network takeover features 11 games across 6 sports

Horton also has a big believer in Hand, who raved about his potential during spring camp.

“He’s been doing a great job in his development, as well as his execution, his understanding of the offense,” Hand said. “I just think Mike has a very high ceiling, as well. I love coaching Mike. He’s a coachable guy. He wants to be great.”

Some inside the program believe Horton has what it takes to follow in the footsteps of Kozan and Smith by progressing into an All-SEC-caliber guard.

From what Smith says, that could be sooner rather than later.

 

“He’s putting in the work,” Smith said. “He’s tough, physical and has really good feet. And he’s been one heck of a player.”

 

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Maverick.AU    657
16 hours ago, Beaker said:

Did I hear we have the most experienced line in the SEC or NCAA?  I think I heard one on a podcast...

You guys make me worry from what I read.   If we have one of the most experienced, geez, our D should pillage the other teams I am guessing.

 

3rd according to Phil Steele. 1. San Jose St. 2. Tenn. 3. AU

 

 

2017 Career Starts Offensive Line

Today’s blog starts my in-depth look at my NCAA Experience Chart. For 8 years I had listed an experience chart, which broke down the number of seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen each team, had in the two deep and rated the teams experience level with a formula I devised. In 2009, I made the experience chart FIVE TIMES better by adding new categories like Career Starts on Offensive line, % of Offensive Yards returning, % of Defensive Yards returning and % of lettermen returning. 

Today I will look at the number of career starts returning for offensive lineman. When most judge a team for the upcoming season they look at the QB, RB and WR’s that are returning. A few may take the time to look at star defensive players that are back (those with a lot of sacks or interceptions). However, very few look at the offensive line and yet the team that controls the line of scrimmage wins the game more often than not. 

This year San Jose St is the top team in the country with 125 career starts returning on the offensive line. Tennessee came in at #2 with 111 starts.  In at #3 is Auburn who has 103 career OL starts returning. Memphis is #4 at 103. If you purchase my magazine you will get my complete ratings on each offensive line as I look at last years production, size, talent and cohesiveness on top of the career starts. 

Last year the #1 most experienced Offensive Line belonged to Bowling Green. Their ypg rush did slightly lower from 180 ypg rush and just 4.6 ypc to 181 ypg rush and 4.3 ypc. Also their pass production went down from 367 ypg to 226 ypg but the sacks allowed had a huge drop from 36 down to 25. 

At the bottom of the list is Arkansas St with just 2 career starts returning. San Diego St has just 14 career starts back and Utah St has 16. This is usually a good indicator that a line will struggle some especially early in the year. 

Here are the rankings for all 130 teams with regards to Career OL Starts Returning. The number in the ( )’s after the team name is where they rank in their conference.

 

NCAA   Career
Rank Team Name (Conf Rank) Starts
1 San Jose St (1) 125
2 Tennessee (1) 111
3 Auburn (2) 106
4 Memphis (1) 103
5 UCF (2) 101
6 Miami, Fl (1) 100
7 Iowa (1) 99
8 South Carolina (3) 98
9 Oklahoma  (1) 97
9 Washington (1) 97
11 Oklahoma St (2) 95
12 Rice (1) 92
13 Tulsa (3) 91
14 Wisconsin (2) 90
15 NC State (2) 89
15 Arizona (2) 89
17 Boston College (3) 88
17 Georgia St (1) 88
19 Penn St (3) 87
19 Central Michigan (1) 87
19 Wyoming (2) 87
22 Houston (4) 86
23 BYU (1) 85
23 UCLA (3) 85
25 UTEP (2) 84
26 Clemson (4) 83
26 Colorado (4) 83
28 Florida Atlantic (3) 82
29 Pittsburgh (5) 81
30 SMU (5) 80
30 Ohio St (4) 80
 

https://www.philsteele.com/Blogs/2017/JUNE17/DBJune13.html

 

Edited by Maverick.AU
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lkeel75    451

To me this is the most critical part to this year.  Not just getting the best 5 on the field, but that they gel together and play as 1 unit.  If this happens, then it could be a very special year.  But if the OL is continuously shuffling around trying to get playing time for different people then it could end up a long year.  I know Smith is a hoss, but he is an All-American guard and by all accounts I have seen, he projects as a guard at the next level.  It is difficult for me to see why we may not be playing him there.  I am sure he will be a good RT.

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