Hayden Howerton

Hot Button Debate: Best SMU Offensive Lineman Signee

The PonyStampede staff debates which SMU offensive lineman signee is the best in the class in this premium discussion.

Billy: Matthew Huhn

As far as true offensive tackles go, Huhn fits the bill here for plenty of college teams when you draw up what you're looking for. For me, his long arms and strength are what stands out as he sits here signing with SMU on Wednesday. If you're going to have a chance to play early, you've got to have the strength to stand up against older, more developed players. The former Houston commit is a weight room warrior and constantly tweets out video of him pushing himself in the weight room. With a little bit more coaching to refine his technique, Huhn can really develop into an All-AAC tackle. While all of SMU's offensive line signees are talented, Huhn's long arms separate him for me. That's one of the first things you notice about him and it's the No. 1 thing I look for when I evaluate tackles. SMU has a good trio here, but Huhn stands out to me the most, even if he was the last lineman to land in the class.

Patrick: Hayden Howerton

SMU has three good ones on the offensive line committed in this class and they just might be the three best players in the class regardless of position. For best of the three, I’m going to go with Howerton because of his quickness and lateral agility he shows off by executing angle blocks and moving defenders sideways along the line of scrimmage and out of the play. He finishes blocks and doesn’t just let his defender go, even after driving him off the line. He is comfortable blocking in space. Howerton played both tackle spots, guard and center during his high school career, so if SMU needed him to play interior line, he wouldn’t be completely new to it.

Hatts: Alan Ali

As SMU looks to continue getting more physical up front, there is probably not a better addition than Alan Ali. The Timber Creek High School left tackle is a flat out mauler in the running game. One thing that jumps out immediately with Ali is the manner in which he finishes blocks in the run game. While Ali may not be the fastest player, he dominated in the run game even forcing players into the bench at times. The biggest jump for Ali will come in the passing game, where he will have to get used to faster players on the outside. However, with his physicality and ability to get off the ball, Ali should be able to contribute early on at SMU. 

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