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Top Five Offensive Line Signees For 2011

The offensive line might be the most important position in recruiting.

Look at the most recent SEC champions, and you’ll find talented offensive linemen with plenty of experience.

This year’s class is a talented group.

Here are the top five offensive line signees in the SEC in February:

1. Cyrus Kouandjio – Alabama

Kouandjio announced on signing day that he had chosen Auburn, but within the hour we found out he was having second thoughts. In the end, he chose the same school as his brother, offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio, and the Crimson Tide couldn’t be happier. Kouandjio’s goal is to play right away, and he might have an opportunity. How good is Kouandjio? To some analysts, he was the difference in Alabama’s class finishing ahead of Auburn’s group.

2. La’El Collins – LSU

Collins is a hometown kid from Baton Rouge. Like all offensive line prospects, we’ll need to see how he performs against men his own size, but Collins has the potential to be a dominant left tackle in the SEC. He’s a powerful run blocker who also possesses the athleticism to be an effective pass protector. Collins might be LSU’s best player in an impressive 2011 class.

3. Christian Westerman – Auburn

Auburn’s class took a big jump in January when Westerman decided to switch his commitment from Texas to Auburn. Some believe he could play guard or tackle in college, which might give him a better chance to play this fall. That opportunity will be there as Auburn attempts to replace several starters from last year’s offensive line. We might look back in a few years and remember Westerman switching his commitment to Auburn as one of the key recruiting moves in 2011.

4. Antonio Richardson – Tennessee

He was the biggest priority for UT’s class throughout the recruiting process. The Nashville native decided to play in his home state on signing day, which should help solidify the Vols’ offensive line in the future. Richardson will be a part of a unit that features Ja’Wuan James, who started every game at right tackle as a true freshman in 2010. The Vols have had problems on the offensive line in recent years. That should be changing with Richardson’s arrival.

5. Brey Cook – Arkansas

Cook (6-7, 315) is a huge human being, which should excite Arkansas fans. Cook could play on the inside or outside of the Razorbacks’ line, and his massive frame should help him turn into a dominant run blocker. He can no longer show up and run people over, but when he learns how to block at the college level, Cook should turn into an All-SEC lineman. How long will it take him to learn? We’ll see, but don’t be surprised if he earns playing time as a freshman.

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Kouandjio’s Decision To Come Down To A Family Vote?

The father for five-star offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio told The Tuscaloosa News yesterday that a family vote may decide the players’ college destination.  And that’s probably not what Auburn fans want to hear.

As everyone already knows by this point, Kouandjio selected Auburn on national television yesterday only to get cold feet.  His coach said he “looked miserable” after making his choice. 

Kouandjio’s older brother Arie Kouandjio is already an offensive lineman for Alabama.

Currently, Auburn and Alabama are ranked in the Top 5 in most recruiting rankings.  Where the big lineman from Washington, DC goes will no doubt tip the scales in Bama’s direction… or Auburn’s on the rankings front.  In reality, those rankings don’t mean a thing, but in the state of Alabama… they’re just one more thing to hold over the head of your hated rival.

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