This post continues a series reviewing our recruiting class. Today we're looking at offensive linemen.
Broome, Kaleb. Although not highly recruited, Broome is valuable because he gives us instant depth. He's spent time at JUCO, his body is filled out, and he's going to be here for spring practice, so he'll be as ready as he'll ever be this fall. For a team without a lot of depth, it's good to know that we have another guy we can rely on in Broome.
Harris, Kyle. A highly rated prospect who shows a lot of power off the line in his video footage. He looks especially good in pass blocking. He'll probably need some time to put on a few pounds before he's ready to play at the college level, but I would expect him to be in the mix in 2012 and beyond.
Matulis, Mike. Matulis is a fairly highly regarded prospect out of Florida. What struck me most about his video footage was his ability to move down the field and block guys in the second and third levels. He shows a nice blend of size and speed in that regard. I would expect a redshirt for him this year, but he could challenge for playing time in the future.
McKinney, Quincey. A bit of a project, perhaps, but it's always good to have depth at offensive line, and McKinney could provide that in future years if he pans out.
Shell, Brandon. Shell was the prize of this year's offensive line class. Rivals rates him as the nation's fourth best OL prospect and the 66th best overall. A huge, fast, flexible players, he has prototypical size and athleticism. The only knock against him is that he played a run-heavy offense and will need to learn how to pass block. That may lead to some early growing pains, but most likely Shell will start for most of his career at Carolina. He's good enough to work his way into the rotation this year, which is rare for an offensive lineman. He played a lot of guard in high school, but with his athletic skills could project as a left tackle. That move could lead to big bucks in the NFL if he excels.
Sport, Will. Another project, but as with McKinney, I'm glad to have him.
Grade: A. Our coaching staff has clearly made improving the offensive line a priority, and this class was a huge success and is likely one of the nation's best. Shell provides an All-SEC type player, Broome provides a ready body, Harris and Matulis are very solid prospects, and McKinney and Sport have potential, too. The sheer number of guys we signed should mean good things for OL depth, which has been a problem for us for some time. Cheers all round here.