BEAVERTON, Ore. – The offensive line group on Tuesday’s spotlight workout was deep and talented and among the 19 that competed, there were probably 15 that could be singled out as having standout efforts. Below, we take a look at ten that caught our eye the most in a (mostly) padded workout.
Toa Lobendahn was impressive and consistent all day.
1. Toa Lobendahn, OG, Lakewood (Calif.) Artesia – Probably the most flexible of any prospect through his ankles and hips, Lobendahn is very athletic in his stance, but for an athletic prospect he showed a real physicality and punch. When he locked on to defenders, he kept his feet moving and finished the play. He may not have had a bad rep all day.
2. Damien Mama, OG, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco – The first play of the day for Mama was a huge collision in a run-block drill in which he put five-star Andrew Brown on his back. The rest of the day was equally impressive. Mama is so huge and strong that he doesn’t have to be overly quick on the edge because all he has to do is touch you to disrupt your path in a big way. It’s a spectacle to watch Mama on every rep and he rarely disappoints.
3. Cameron Robinson, OT, West Monroe (La.) High – Standing at 6-foot-5, 330 pounds, Robinson somehow exudes a much bigger presence even than that on the football field. To beat Robinson in a pass-rush, you better be really big and really athletic because Robinson certainly is both. He’s quick out of his stance, has a long wingspan that enables him to lock in on defenders and he reacts very quickly to any counters. He also has a mean streak. Though Garrald McDowell was able to challenge him late in the workout, he dominated Joe Henderson and handled Gerald Willis as well. He didn’t play in pads due to Louisiana rules so he didn’t compete in run-block drills.
4. Roderick Taylor, OG, Jackson (Miss.) Callaway – In run-blocking work, Taylor showed explosive hips and a good initial punch and drive. He also showed really good feet and handily beat Marcus Griffin on consecutive reps in pass-block one-on-ones. He also easily handled Khairi Clark on consecutive reps as well.
5. JC Hassenauer, OC, St. Paul (Minn.) East Ridge – Once again, Hassenauer showed off toughness and strength on the interior. He’s strong enough to control defenders even if they’re able to get to his shoulder and we haven’t seen a big body that can press the pocket on him. He easily beat Enoch Smith Jr. on consecutive reps and then he also had two very good reps against Anthony Moten. What Hassenauer does as well as anyone is absorb contact and stand his ground.
6. Isaiah Wynn, OG, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood – The knock on Wynn is that he is undersized at 6-foot-1.5, but due to his outstanding wingspan he doesn’t play small. The athleticism has never been in doubt. Wynn had four very good pass-block reps against Enoch Smith and Thomas Holley. Holley in particular has had a great week and looked great in pads on Tuesday, but Wynn had a good first rep and a decisive second rep, showing off really effective foot-quickness.
7. Montel McBride, OG, Plant City (Fla.) High – Minutes before a commitment to Alabama, McBride showed one of the better interior offensive line workouts of the morning. He’s not as flexible and loose as a few others but he’s stout and powerful out of his stance. Marcus Griffin got the worst of McBride on two consecutive reps, and was barely able to mount any push. McBride also did some very impressive work against Solomon Thomas who had been one of the best DLs of the event before facing McBride.
8. Quenton Nelson, OT, Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic – Nelson opened up the run-block session by teaming with Toa Lobendahn to put the nation’s No. 1 player on his back. He continued a strong effort into pass blocking. While Derek Barnett challenged him with a strong outside speed rush followed by a bull-rush, Nelson proved up to the task on both attempts. Later in the day Nelson stymied an athletic Chad Thomas. The reps proved that Nelson has elite athleticism at the tackle position and looks capable against any edge rusher.
9. Viane Talamaivao, OG, Corona (Calif.) Centennial – Always a standout at these events, Talamaivao has highlight-reel type offensive line plays on the regular. While he wasn’t perfect on the day, the four-star Alabama commit will absolutely put you on your back if he gets his hands squarely on you. Among the players that got the worst of it today? Four-star Derek Barnett and five-star Andrew Brown.
10. Trevor Darling, OT, Miami (Fla.) Central – Big-framed at 6-4.5 and 327 pounds, Darling showed a very quick pass set at right tackle. He had some good battles with athletic defensive end Kentavius Street, winning the majority. Even when he lost, Darling was out-quicked to the edge, he just got a little bit high trying to keep leverage. His athletic toolset was what really differentiated Darling.
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