Rivals.com - Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2023 offensive linemen
football Edit

Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2023 offensive linemen

The updated 2023 Rivals250 is out, and there are a lot of changes across most positions, but the offensive line position remained largely intact. Only two Rivals100 linemen are verbally committed, guard Alex Birchmeier to Penn State and tackle Johnathan Hugley to Georgia. The rest are up for grabs. The teams that win recruiting battles along the offensive line now will post victories on the field later.

NEW 2023 RANKINGS: Center | Offensive guard | Offensive tackle | All-purpose RB | Running back | Pro-style QB | Dual-threat QB

*****

RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK

Previews: Who should be No. 1? | Which QB should be next to receive a fifth star? | Can Nico Iamaleava unseat Arch Manning as No. 1 QB? | Who is the best defensive lineman?

Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Meet the new five-stars

Tuesday: New Rivals250 released | Gorney's thoughts | Biggest movers | Thoughts on M'Pemba, Tate, Haynes

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released | Five schools that should be pleased | Breaking down the QB rankings | Breaking down the RB rankings | Breaking down the WR/TE rankings

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released

Friday: State rankings released

Saturday: Rival Views

Sunday: Who will move up most in the next Rivals250?

*****

1. The top offensive lineman 

TJ Shanahan Jr.
TJ Shanahan Jr.

The new 2023 rankings saw Westlake Texas guard TJ Shanahan Jr. take over the top offensive lineman spot, with Iowa offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor sliding backward six spots.

Playing both guard and tackle for Westlake, no one is getting nastier than Shanahan snap after snap. More than a mauler, he’s strong, patient, has great footwork and uses his hands as lethal weapons.

*****

2. Two teams to watch: USC and Alabama 

As excited as USC fans might be about the future of the program under head coach Lincoln Riley, there are some reasons for concern. The concern isn’t so much about Riley or his staff running their offense, it is about finding the offensive linemen to make it work. There are zero offensive tackles rated on the national level in the entire state of California. The Trojans will have their work cut out going into other recruiting pools like Texas for top prospects.

Occupying the top three spots in the 2022 class, Texas A&M, Alabama and Georgia will fight for the best in the trenches. The Lone Star State is loaded with players such as Shanahan, Harris Sewell, Markis Deal and Jaydon Chatman.

At the top of the positional rankings the Peach State offers Johnathan Hughley, a Georgia commit, and guard Madden Sanker. Alabama’s in-state depth on the line is lower with the top prospect, center Bradyn Joiner, verbally committed to Auburn. Alabama, like USC, will have to reach into other areas to steal recruits away. These battles will not only influence the races in the SEC but on the national level.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH USC FANS AT TROJANSPORTS.COM

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH ALABAMA FANS AT BAMAINSIDER.COM

*****

3. Three prospects to watch: Madden Sanker, Miles McVay and Iapani Laloulu

Madden Sanker may not be flashy, but he is among the best of the best. His upside is still tremendous, but he already has the college body and strength to contribute wherever he goes from day one.

Miles McVay is a one-man gang on the gridiron. His 6-foot-7, 336-pound frame is intimidating, and he has the long arms to keep defenders back before they get going. The East St. Louis talent is pushing 30 offers.

Recruiting Hawaii is not easy for player or coach, for no other reason than proximity. If Iapani Laloulu has the opportunity to showcase his talents at national events such as the Rivals Camps Series and/or college camps this offseason, the offers will start rolling in for him. The size and strength are there. He has a winning-every-snap motor. Coaches just need to see his technique in person.