Oher: "I Just Like Everything About Them"

With the football evaluation period now in full swing, most colleges have been on the recruiting trail visiting the schools of their early targets.

Memphis (TN) Briarcrest Christian High School has hosted coaches from the best programs across the country with them all coming in to see super offensive line prospect Michael Oher.

"Things have been crazy around here because of Michael," Briarcrest Head Coach Hugh Freeze told StateFans. "Trust me, he's the real deal. Mike's 6-foot-5, 340 pounds and can really move for a man that big."

"He's a lot like the Shawn Andrews kid from Arkansas. He's big, very mobile, and will likely be a dominant left tackle on the next level."

Oher transferred to the Memphis, Tennessee private school two years ago and was promptly placed on the offensive line. While he resented the move at first, Mike admits he now loves his new position in the trenches.

"Well in my ninth grade year I played defensive tackle and thought that's where I would always play my football at," he said. "Then I transferred to Briarcrest and started playing offensive line. I like it a lot now because it's just easy. All I have to do is put the guy on his back and my job's done."

Blessed with great quickness, footwork, and agility for a man his size, Oher points out that playing basketball (where he's a solid prospect as well) has really helped him on the gridiron.

"I've got some looks in basketball too," he said. "Playing basketball has helped me with football because I need good footwork to play in the post, and that's true for the offensive line too. Some local AAU teams have asked me to play basketball with them, but I've just been concentrating on football because our team can be really good this year."

With offers from "everybody that comes by" and some analysts touting him as the country's top offensive line prospect, it is safe to say that Oher can essentially pick anywhere to play college football. So who is he interested in right now?

"North Carolina State, LSU, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Michigan, and USC are some of the teams and all of them have offered scholarships. I've only visited North Carolina State and Oklahoma State so North Carolina State is my favorite so far."

Oher visited NC State's Junior Day in February with teammate Justin Sparks, and he was impressed by what he saw.

"At North Carolina State I liked the programs, they have a brand new facility and are still building onto the stadium. The coaches were easy to talk to and so were the players. I just liked everything about them."

Coach Freeze made it clear that N.C. State, while being the first school to offer Oher a scholarship, also has a great coach handling his recruitment in Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone.

"I have a good buddy, Noel Mazzone, that coaches at N.C. State so that's a major reason why they are on him so early," Coach Freeze said. "[Coach] Mazzone's my man... I just can't say anything bad about him., and he's a good one. He puts up numbers wherever he goes with whatever talent he has. He's a good football coach."

Another team figuring to be in the mix is the Tennessee Volunteers, the major in-state program and a national power. Michael admits that he likes them as well.

"We played a football game there earlier in the year, and I liked it," he said. "They had a pretty good team this year, and I'm going to look at them hard too."

With a decision certainly months away there will be several factors in his final decision, but what could be the biggest?

"I think I'll like all the visits to the schools because you are suppose to, but it's going to come down to stuff like academics. I want to see how much they talk about the academic programs and just listen to all the good things they have to say."

Lineman #74 Michael Oher


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