InsideMizzou.com looks Big 12 OL recruits

InsideMizzou.com Senior Writer Erik Johnson continues to evaluate the offensive linemen in the Class of 2009 for Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas. Who has the advantage at this position with this recruiting class? For those answers and many more stay tuned to InsideMizzou.com your No. 1 source for everything about Mizzou athletics.

Missouri - The Tigers brought in four offensive linemen in the 2009 recruiting class. The most coveted recruit was Trotwood, OH native Chris Freeman.

Freeman is currently listed at a monstrous 6-foot-9, 348 pounds. Freeman did not begin playing football until his junior year of high school, but attracted plenty of attention once he stepped on the gridiron.

When watching Freeman play, it is obvious that he has great talent and size but has not been playing the game long. He has an extremely high ceiling, but it will take a lot of work on technique to approach that ceiling.

Adding to the size brought in by the Tigers is 6-foot-6, 310 pound, Jack Meiners. Meiners is more technically sound than Freeman and plays with good leverage for a 6'6" player. Out of the four linemen brought in by Missouri, I expect Meiners to be the first to see meaningful playing time.

The other two offensive linemen in the 2009 class are both from southern Missouri and will be needing to add weight to their frames once they step on campus. Justin Britt from Lebanon is 6-foot-5, 270 pounds and runs well. He is also a very accomplished wrestler for Lebanon.

Mark Hill is a 6-foot-6, 265 pound lineman from Branson. Much like Britt, Hill will need a few years in the weight room to pack on the weight to play in the Big XII, but possesses the frame and foot-speed to excel in Missouri's offense.

Nebraska ­– Much like Missouri, the Cornhuskers brought in four offensive linemen who are all 6-foot-5 or taller in their 2009 class. The smallest of their recruits is Keller, TX native Nick Ash.

Ash measures in at 6-foot-5, 265 pounds. Ash shows very solid technique and should compete for playing time as soon as he adds the necessary weight and strength to play in the Big XII.

Also hailing from the Lone Star state is 6-foot-7, 260 pound Jess Coffey. Coffey shows a good ability to get to the second level but will really need to work in the weight room as he does not overpower many defensive linemen. At times, Coffey shows good footwork in pass protection.

At 6-foot-7, 300 pounds, Brent Qvale of Williston, ND looks like a born-football player. It will be interesting to see how Qvale develops as he is a mauler who needs work in the passing game. At 6'7" he is pretty tall to man one of the interior line spots but will need a lot of development in the passing game to play one of the tackle positions.

Rounding out the offensive linemen for the Huskers is Jeremiah Sirles who comes in at 6-foot-8, 300 pounds. Another linemen with a "lean-look" Sirles (Lakewood, CO) has room to add muscle to his frame. Sirles shows good pop on contact but plays very tall which takes away leverage.

KansasGavin Howard of Owasso, OK is a great student brought in by Kansas (31 ACT, 4.2 GPA). At 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, he also has the frame to play in the Big XII. To play in the Big XII however, Howard will need to become more explosive as he doesn't jump off the film when you watch him. Kansas was reportedly Howard's only offer.

Kansas native Riley Spencer was the first linemen to commit to the Jayhawks in the '09 class. Spencer measure in at 6-foot-6, 265 pounds and makes good initial contact coming off the line.

Where Spencer will need to improve is staying with his blocks as he routinely goes to the ground or loses his man after the initial contact. Rounding out the offensive line class for the Jayhawks is 6-foot-5, 270 pound Tom Mabry of Belleville, IL. Much like Howard, Mabry is an under-the-radar prospect with good height who only received an offer from the Jayhawks.


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