Is Oregon the New Destination for Nation’s Top Linemen?

Jordan Ingram Editorials

I never thought I’d live to see the day when the Oregon Ducks football team became known for developing some of the nation’s finest talent in the offensive trenches. Growing up in the 80s, it felt like the Ducks’ offensive line was more decorative than utilitarian. Running lanes were quickly clogged with faster and stronger defensive ends, and nearly every play resulted in a quarterback scramble.

Ah, the good ol’ days.

I’m only kind of joking. The Ducks obviously had their shining moments in the late 80s and 90s (Thank you, Bill Musgrave!) but the point is the Ducks were never known for having big, bruising linemen who pull charter buses and buttered their donuts. BIG BOYS, like Conrad Dobler (nicknamed “NFL’s Dirtiest Player”), Randall McDaniel and IronMike Webster.

But that all changed with Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal, an offensive lineman and two-time national champion with the Miami Hurricanes, and Alex Mirabal, Oregon’s offensive line coach and high school teammate of Cristobal. Now, linemen leave Oregon NFL-ready, including Shane Lemieux (New York Giants), right tackle Calvin Throckmorton (New Orleans Saints), Jake Hanson (Green Bay Packers), right guard Kyle Long (Kansas City Chiefs) and of course, Outland Trophy winner Penei Sewell (Detroit Lions).

And the future prospects look pretty darn good. Oregon recently hosted five-star recruit Kelvin Banks Jr., a 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive lineman from Humble, Texas, who is rated the nation’s No. 2 offensive tackle.

They develop o-linemen,” Banks told 24/7Sports. “That’s the o-linemen school. If you’re going to go there, you have to be a great o-lineman.

Word on the gridiron is spreading fast. Coming soon is top-rated JUCO commit Percy Lewis who blocks the sun at 6-foot-8, 360 pounds.

It’s pretty cool. Based on my past experiences, I’m still getting used to the idea that Oregon might very well be the destination for the country’s biggest and strongest trench warriors. Is Oregon really the new school of choice for offensive lineman? What other prospects would you like to see don the green and yellow?

Jordan Ingram 
San Diego, California
Top Photo by Sean Meagher 

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