I continue my position group breakdowns with offensive line.
Blaine Clausell (JR)
For all intents and purposes, this is his 3rd year as the starting LT. 1rs year he took his lumps, last year fans saw much better pass blocking, and this year another step in the right direction would make Clausell a pretty dang good LT. Physically he looks to have gained a lot of size (up to 6’7 310) and strengths since year 1. That should help with his run blocking which is probably his weakness along with a bull rush.
Gabe Jackson (SR)
No question that he is the most elite talent on this years team. Most NFL projections have him as the 2nd best OG in the next draft. He is the only true mauler on MSU’s line. At 6’4 320 he’s got the size and also the freakish strength to go down as one of MSU’s all-time great on the OL.
Dillon Day (JR)
Just as Clausell was, Day was thrust into a starting role as a RS freshman. You might as well say he is a 3rd year starter as well. At 6’4 295, Day is the prototypical center in today’s game. He was a surprise to fans at first and has improved each step of the way. He really embraced a leadership role in the spring. Look for some sort of honors by years end for Day.
Justin Malone (soph)
As a RS freshman getting most of the reps, fans saw some growing pains. All in all, I think Malone did an outstanding job. He did really well in pass protection. There was a noticeable difference in the running game when Tobias Smith was in but that is an area he can improve in. Malone is one of the most athletic OG in the SEC at 6’6 315.
Charles Siddoway (SR)
The behemoth (6’7 315) juco transfer played well in his first year as a starter. One little know fact is that Siddoway played with a torn tendon in both feet for most of the year. A 100% healthy Siddoway and a full year to adjust is bound to be improved in 2013.
Justin Senior (RS Freshman)
The young Senior saw most of the 2nd team LT reps in the spring. It looks as if he’s being groomed to be the next LT after Clausell graduates. At 6’5 300, he has the size and he also has good feet.
Ben Beckwith (JR)
The former walk-on is one of my favorites to watch because he gives full effort every time. At 6’3 305, he’s got the size the play inside. Also has a bit of a mean streak. Probably the 3rd OG off the bench.
Dylan Holley (SR)
The juco transfer is a bit undersized (6’1 295) but is a good back up option. He’s a really sound blocker and equally hard worker. Center also has to be able to call blocking audibles and he seems to be able to do this as well.
Archie Muniz (JR)
At 6’5 295, he has more of a OT frame but I’ve read that he would be moved to OG. That may be a depth situation where he’s needed more at OG. Muniz is a long guy with good feet. His biggest drawback is that he hasn’t been healthy but that isn’t his fault.
Damien Robinson (JR)
The former 4 star recruit took some time to adjust to big time football but he’s coming off his best spring. He almost beat out Siddoway at RT. Robinson has great size (6’6 310) and really long arms making a perfect OT frame.
Cole Carter (RS freshman)
After a redshirt year, Carter did grow a good bit (6’5 295). He has a lot more growing he could do and good feet. A lot of upside here.
Paul Thompson (JR)
Even though he’s listed as a OT, I think he’s more of a G. At 6’3 280, he could grow some more but he has a really good athletic frame. Really hard worker.
Devon Desper (RS freshman)
He looked really good in the spring for a young guy. At 6’3 300, he has more room to grow. He plays with a mean streak. Even though I have him listed as the #3 C, he would see the field faster than some in front of him in certain situations. I could see him forced into action at G.
Jamaal Clayborn (true freshman)
The first year player from Jackson Academy has been spoken well of from summer workouts so far. Plenty of upside but I expect him to redshirt.
Jake Thomas (true freshman)
The former 4 star recruit spent a year learning to get better. Big guy at 6’5 300, he has the frame to get bigger. I don’t see him getting much playing time this year but the future is bright.
Kent Flowers (true freshman)
Most likely a redshirt but fans were very excited about his signing. The Hollandale-Simmons product is very athletic. Pair that with a 6’4.5 and 295 frame, and its easy to see why many prognosticators thought he had the most upside of any MS Hugh school OL.
How often do teams get to say they return all 5 starters? It’s not often but MSU can. Throw in the wildcard that Tobias Smith hasn’t completely written off returning yet and the potential for the line this year is big. There is also quality depth to bolster the first 5. Another thing to notice about Mullen’s OL recruiting is that he likes big, long, athletic guys and the roster shows that. Also notice that there aren’t any fat boys either. These guys can move.