OBSERVATIONS: MICHAEL OHER

SAN ANTONIO -- When you hear about 6-foot-5, 345-pound Michael Oher you immediately think massive, but when you see him you see the big man in action you think nimble, quick, athletic.

To say his imposing size belies his array of skills is like saying a B2 Bomber shouldn't be able to fly that fast while carrying such a prolific payload -- underestimate either's moility at your own peril.

Oher is the classic skill player in the body of a bruiser. He has the bulk to steamroll an opponent and the agility to outmanuever one. Moved to center for the East team at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl he has adapted readily to the role and displayed a talent for getting out on and sealing off linebackers. He has handled the snapping duties well and shows surprising poise playing a difficult position for the first time against some of the best high school players in the country.

During Thursday's media combine Oher could be seen hurling tight spirials 55 yards downfield at the Alamodome with utter ease. He was snaring passes with one hand and flipping them back in the same in a single motion. Oher's grace on the gridiron is enough to convince you he couldn't possibily be as big as advertise. That perception is further validated by a body that doesn't appear to be padded with anything other than muscle.

It's easy enough to see Oher playing defensive tackle, but when you imagine what he could do in the open field with an full head of steam you quickly realize that the O-line where he has the talent to excel and become special. For a player with his ability to make an immediate impact at the next level, he still has tremendous upside. It's not unfair to suggest he could become a bigger, quicker version of Cosey Coleman.

Oher is also pleasant and personable and appears right on the verge of blooming into a full-fledged star who could thrive in UT's power ball offense.


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