A strong offensive line is the heart of any winning team, and there are a number of players we expect to contribute to the strength of their respective offenses this season. These are four of the guys that we suggest you keep an eye out for:
Myron Cunningham – Arkansas
On an offensive line unit that returns five starters, super senior Myron Cunningham is the leader of the unit, something echoed by the entire Razorbacks coaching staff. Long-limbed and athletic, Cunningham looks the part of an NFL left tackle. He can mirror with the best of them, maintaining proper positioning against even the quickest of edge rushers. Cunningham possesses the size, athleticism and pass blocking ability sure to grab the attention of NFL scouts. After stops at Western Illinois and Central Community College, Cunningham will be coming to a city near you on Sundays soon.
Vederian Lowe – Illinois
With 34 consecutive starts at left tackle under his belt, Vederian Lowe has become one of the most decorated offensive linemen in Illini history. A staple of consistency and durability, he does an exceptional job protecting the edge, utilizing his strength while creating leverage and is capable in motion. Off the field, Lowe has had to grow up very fast, as he lost his mom, became a dad and assumed legal guardianship of his younger brother Vydalis during the past year—he is mature beyond his age. On the field, Lowe possesses a frame for the next level, brings a strong understanding of schemes and understands angles on how to seal defenders off from the ball carrier.
Zion Johnson – Boston College
Big, strong, and physical, Boston College senior Zion Johnson is a transfer from Davidson where he spent two seasons playing in a triple-option offense. It didn’t take Johnson long to acclimate himself to his new surroundings on Chestnut Hill, however, proving to be a menacing blocker in the run game while also improving vastly in pass protection. He has played in a power-run scheme offense under previous head coach Steve Addazio and in an up-tempo spread attack with current coach Jeff Hafley. His versatility, athleticism, strength, and tenacity provide ultimate value.
Matt Allen — Michigan State
A four-year starter and team captain, Matt Allen is relied upon as a coach on the field with his experience and high football intelligence. He possesses excellent posture, knee bend, plus a sound base, which gives him a solid foundation to build upon as he continues to develop. The Illinois native demonstrates solid core strength and the ability to keep his head on a swivel, constantly looking for work in pass protection. A three-time all-state selection in wrestling during his high school days, Allen shows great grappling ability and well-coached hand usage. There is no doubt that pedigree is on his side, having two brothers who have played in the NFL. He appears set to achieve the trifecta with another solid season in East Lansing.
We’re just five days away from the release of the full Big Board, so make sure you keep checking back as it fills out.