Meet the New Mids: Offensive Line

GoMids.com continues its review of this year's incoming freshman class by position. Last year the Mids ranked sixth in the nation in team rushing at 284.7 yards per game. The Mids return a historically high number, four, of their starters on the offensive line since the Mids line is usually dominated by seniors.

The Naval Academy Prep school produced one of the bigger and more talented offensive lines in recent memory. GoMids.com will look at the incoming offensive linemen that could form the foundation of next year's offensive line.

The best lineman at the Naval Academy Prep School last year was easily Jake Zuzek. Zuzek was the team's Offensive MVP last year playing guard at the Naval Academy Prep school. Zuzek is a 6-0, 300 pound two-way lineman who played offensive line and defensive tackle for West Philadelphia Catholic in Pennsylvania. Zuzek was named First team All-Eastern Pennsylvania as a high school senior.

Jake is incredibly powerful and strong. He has bench pressed over 500 pounds as a 19 year old! He is very explosive off ball and can be overpowering as a one-on-one blocker. Zuzek is Philly tough, extremely physical and can muscle and maul with anyone. He took it upon himself to act as the Navy Prep enforcer if the opposition took any cheap shots. If he remains healthy he has a chance to be a great guard for Navy.

Nate Otto is an offensive guard from Texas. Otto played for Clear Lake high school. Nate came to Navy's attention when they were recruiting former Navy fullback Jarred Mack from the same school in 2009. Nate played right tackle in high school in a flexbone offense. Otto was named Clear Lake's Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2009. He is very athletic and was one of Texas's top wrestlers.

Last season at the Naval Academy Prep school Otto moved to guard and had a terrific season. Otto is very quick into his blocks and is an excellent technician. His five flat forty yard dash speed allows him to get to the second level. Otto is strong with a bench press of 350 pounds and a squat of over 450 pounds. Otto is a 6-foot-2, 265 pound guard and showed his toughness by playing through a shoulder injury that required off season surgery. Otto chose Navy over a late offer from Air Force.

Tanner Fleming is a 6-2, 260 pound center from Deltona high school in central Florida. Tanner was a two way lineman who was named First team All-Area as a senior. Fleming was also voted all-District by Volusia and Seminole County coaches for his play as a senior. Tanner also earned Honorable Mention All-State in the 6A class as a senior.

Fleming was probably the most skilled and technically proficient lineman at the Naval Academy Prep School last season. He started the season at center and quickly demonstrated his ability, movement skill and 4.9 speed in the forty yard dash. Fleming then hurt his ankle and missed a lot of time last season. He probably has the most upside of all the lineman that started last year since he has the frame to add weight and muscle.

Kyle Cregge is a 6-2, 300 pound tackle from Milton, Georgia. His junior year Cregge helped lead his team to the GHSA playoffs. Cregge was the best lineman on a run-dominant high school team. Cregge, who was a starting tackle every game last year at the Naval Academy Prep School, has good size and great flexibility. He can move and execute all his cut block assignments. Bradlyn Heap was a versatile under the radar offensive line recruit from Utah. Heap was the starting offensive tackle until he moved to center after Fleming was hurt. Heap is a lean, smart, mobile lineman who runs very well. He can get to the second level easily. He is a good, hard-nosed player and blocks well on the move. Heap needs to fill out his frame and spend more time in the weight room to increase his strength.

Austin Marshall is a 6-3, 300 pound lineman from Tennessee. Marshall was a backup at both guard and tackle last season at the Naval Academy Prep school. Marshall did a solid job and has good strength. He has ability but currently is more of a traditional style offensive lineman who tries to muscle and maul with defenders. He needs to adapt to the option lineman style line play and improve his flexibility and pad level to raise his game.

The only direct admit among this year's offensive lineman is Will Strauss from Heritage high school in California. Strauss is a 6-5, 245 pound offensive tackle. He was named Second team All-League as a Senior and Honorable Mention as a junior. Strauss is a very good athlete for lineman. He was one of over 1,000 football players who attended the Nike Oakland Combine last summer. He was one of just 25 players and five offensive linemen named to the team. Will's workout numbers were impressive as he ran a 5.21 second 40-yard dash and a 4.52 shuttle. The Nike team breakdown said it best about Strauss's potential, "Has frame and feet, if he can add the strength, watch out". Strauss is very mobile for a tall player and does a great job positioning himself and walling off defenders with his footwork.

Next: Meet the Mids Defensive linemen.

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