Memphis (Tenn.) Briarcrest Christian offensive lineman Michael Oher is well on his way to being one of the Volunteer State’s elite prospects for 2005.
Oher (6-5, 330, 4.9) has picked up early scholarship offers from Tennessee, Ole Miss, N.C. State, Memphis and Oklahoma State, according to his coach.
“Those are just the first ones,” Briarcrest coach Hugh Freeze said. “Every school in the nation is going to want this kid.”
And what makes Oher so special?
“He’s a 6-5, 330-pound kid who can run like a tight end,” Freeze said. “If we wanted to, we could play him at tight end, and he’d do a great job there. He’s just an athletic freak. He looks like he’s about 290. He really carries the weight well and moves so effortlessly.
“Coach Cutcliffe came by in early February to watch Michael play basketball, and he was just blown away watching the kid run up and down the floor. He’s averaging about 19 points for our basketball team.”
Oher sat out his sophomore year after transferring to Briarcrest, but had a breakout year as a junior. And to hear Freeze describe him, he hasn’t even scratched the surface yet.
“There’s a lot of untapped potential still there,” Freeze said. “He’s still learning the game, a lot of the technical stuff. But physically, he just manhandles people. He’s on a misson to destroy his assignment every down. He wants a pancake on every snap.
“If he improves as much this season as he did from the start of last year, he’s going to be one of the best in the nation. There’s no doubt in my mind about that.”
Asked if Oher has any early college favorites, Freeze said he gets the impression that Ole Miss and Tennessee are in the best position at this point.
“But I think Michael may take his time and look around at several schools,” he added. “We’re going to a junior day at N.C. State this weekend. He's going to have a lot of options.”