Minus three full-time starters and a part-time starter from its 2005 blocking wall, Tennessee's offensive line is young and unproven heading into the 2006 season. Still, Collegefootballnews.com thinks the Vols boast one of the NCAA's finest blockers.
That would be massive senior Arron Sears
, who is listed as the fourth-best offensive tackle and a second-team preseason All-American by the popular website. The NCAA's top three offensive tackles, according to CFN.com, are Joe Thomas
, Justin Blalock
and Sam Baker
of Southern Cal.
Here's what Collegefootballnews.com has to say about Sears:
"The All-America caliber lineman can play either tackle or guard, but he's best and most useful on the outside. As the only returning starter on the line, he might be moved around where needed, like he was in the win over LSU when he saw time at four different spots. He's a strong and surprisingly mobile 6-4 and 338 pounds with two years of starting experience under his belt."
CFN.com's front page also features its picks for the 25 best tight ends, the 25 best centers and the 25 best guards. Arizona State's Zach Miller and Miami's Greg Olsen are ranked 1-2 at tight end, with West Virginia's Dan Mozes and Southern Cal's Ryan Kalil 1-2 at center. Boston College's Josh Beckman and Iowa's Mike Jones are rated 1-2 at guard.
Other SEC offensive linemen tabbed, besides Arron Sears, were:
AT CENTER: Georgia's Nick Jones No. 14 and Alabama's Antoine Caldwell No. 16.
AT GUARD: Auburn's Tim Duckworth No. 8, LSU's Will Arnold No. 13 and Mississippi State's Brian Anderson No. 20.
AT TACKLE: Georgia's Daniel Inman No. 11, Ole Miss' Michael Oher No. 15, Vanderbilt's Brian Stamper No. 19 and Arkansas's Zac Tubbs No. 20.
AT TIGHT END: Kentucky's Jacob Tamme No. 16, Mississippi State's Eric Butler No. 19 and Georgia's Martrez Miller No. 20.