Two Mississippi Linemen Battle It Out

What started out as a typical one-on-one type drill between offensive linemen and defensive linemen turned into a "may the better man win" drill at the All-American combine held at Oxford, Mississippi Sunday afternoon.

After watching the drills between the offenive and defensive linemen for about 30 minutes, I asked's East Recruiting Analyst Bob Lichtenfels if he would pit Independence (MS) High School defensive lineman Quentin Saulsberry up against Heidleberg (MS) High School offensive lineman Ra'Shad McGill. Both youngsters had been dominating the opposition, but hadn't faced each other. So I thought to myself, let's see what they've got when going against the best. Who's the top dog in Mississippi on this Sunday afternoon in Oxford, Mississippi?

Saulsberry attended the All-American combine in Starkville last year, so I knew he was a talented youngster. And I expected him to be even better this year. He was. Ra'Shad, on the other hand, was a newcomer to the combine scene and not that well known to us recruiting guys. But he was king of the O-Line this day.

Bob got them together and all the other linemen moved up to watch this battle of the Mississippi big men. The defensive guys were yelling their support for Quentin, while the offensive guys were doing the same for Ra'Shad.

Both guys lined up and looked each other in the eye. After about 3 seconds Bob blew the whistle and both youngsters jumped out of their stances. Quentin won the first battle by moving to his right, then quickly moving to his left using a swim move. Ra'Shad tried to recover, but Quentin was a step ahead and got to the tackle dummy at about the three-second mark to win the first of what would be a best of three contest.

They line up again. Both players had a determined look in their eyes. Bob blew the whistle. Ra'Shad is a split second quicker than Quentin in reacting. Quentin quickly recovers and tries his swim move, but it doesn't work this time. He's not exactly sure what to do, so he moves his arms in hoping he can bull rush Ra'Shad. Big mistake. Ra'Shad locked him in and there's no place for Quentin to go. He tries going one way, then another, but Ra'Shad's having none of it. After three seconds, the whistle blows. Ra'Shad's won the battle. It's now one to one. They'll go again to determine who wins the war.

With the players cheering them on and the offensive line coach, Kemper County High School assistant coach Pete DeWeese, cheering them on by telling both that "this is it", Bob prepares to blow the whistle. Quentin looks over at Bob for a second, then lines up in his stance. The whistle is blown. Quentin tries a new strategy by putting his hands inside and moving Ra'Shad to his left. Ra'Shad's too strong, so he tries going to the other side. Ra'Shad quickly moves with him and plants his left foot. Quentin gets a little off-balance so Ra'Shad keeps him off-balance and lets Quentin's momentum carry him around the tackling dummy. Ra'Shad wins the war to the cheers of his fellow offensive linemen and Coach DeWeese.

OL Ra'Shad McGill and DL Quentin Saulsberry go to war in this ScoutTV members only video presentation -

Quentin Saulsberry and Ra'Shad McGill

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

Gene's Page Top Stories