Next Up: Comparing OL recruits to college and NFL stars
Comparisons are always part of recruiting coverage, so over the next two weeks in our Next Up series we take a look, position-by-position, at who could be one of the next superstars in college football by comparing them to a current college or NFL player.
We move on to offensive linemen.
THIS SERIES: Comparing QB recruits to college and NFL stars | RBs | WRs | TEs
CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State
CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State
CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals100
TRANSFER PORTAL: Stories/coverage | Message board
Kadyn Proctor is the next Tristan Wirfs
They’re both from Iowa. Wirfs played at Iowa and Proctor is committed to the Hawkeyes. Both Proctor and Wirfs are big and physical and also move incredibly well for their size. They love to play with physical domination and have that mix of athletic ability and ferocity.
Proctor is already taller than Wirfs by about two or three inches but their playing style and look are very similar. Wirfs committed early to Iowa over Iowa State and never looked back while Proctor had every national program pursuing him but decided on staying home as well and could follow a similar path to Wirfs – dominating at the college level and then being a first-round NFL Draft pick.
Samson Okunlola is the next Broderick Jones
When Jones was coming up through the high school ranks before his time at Georgia, he was a long, athletic, powerful offensive tackle who dominated once he got his arm extension on you. He was a really impressive and rare specimen because of his agility and ability to move. That’s why he ended up as the No. 1 offensive tackle in the 2020 class.
Okunlola is the same way. Almost the exact same size – Okunlola might have an inch on Jones, Jones might have 10 pounds on Okunlola. The Braintree (Mass.) Thayer Academy standout was outstanding at numerous offseason events including the Rivals Camp Series in Philadelphia, as he showed off great extension, light feet, power and tremendous athletic ability.
Miami looks to be the front-runner but Florida and others are pushing as well.
Tyree Adams is the next Ronnie Stanley
This is a heady comparison as Stanley was an early first-round draft pick and was a complete technician coming out of Notre Dame but Adams reminds us of him physically at the same stage and could be slightly underrated in this class.
Both Adams, at New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine, and Stanley, who played at Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, are 6-foot-6 and around 285 pounds so not nearly as filled out physically as some other offensive tackles in this class. Even though Adams isn’t 300-plus yet the four-star is still very powerful, dominated at the Rivals Camp Series in New Orleans and fits almost exactly the physical profile of Stanley at the same stage.
Monroe Freeling is the next Kolton Miller
Freeling is already 6-foot-7 and lean very much like Miller was in high school as the Northern California prospect was considered a project. He went to UCLA and then became a first-round NFL Draft pick surprisingly. The Mount Pleasant (S.C.) Oceanside Collegiate Academy four-star, who’s committed to Georgia, isn’t considered a project but he definitely will add 30 pounds easily on the next level and could be in Miller’s ballpark.
With that size and Freeling’s frame, which could easily add weight, the comparison is hard to miss. Coming out of high school Miller was from a finished product and Freeling is in the same boat as he has all the tools to be really special in the coming years.
TJ Shanahan Jr. is the next Quenton Nelson
From an outward perspective, Shanahan and Nelson could not look more different. Shanahan has the long, wild hair and the tattoos, while Nelson is more buttoned-up, hair off the ears. Take that away and the similarities are hard not to notice.
Both are 6-foot-5, both love to play with this insane level of physicality along the offensive line where they not only want to win on each snap but they want to manhandle their opponent and dominate each and every second.
Nelson is the picture-perfect recruit: A five-star who went to Notre Dame and dominated and then was an early first-round selection. We think Shanahan has those capabilities as well.