Scouting the MAC: Miami-Ohio

A heartbreaking loss late in the season to Marshall knocked the Redhawks from any potential bowl game. Yet this program is getting more and more exposure thanks to the right arm of the nation's top quarterback prospect.

Ben Roethlisberger is slowly turning into the consummate quarterback; a great blend of brains, athleticism and competitiveness. A patient passer with great field vision, Roethlisberger does a terrific job buying time in the pocket, finding the open wide out on the field and never making bad decisions. He's a great leader with an above-average arm for the next level and a signal caller always under control. Its' safe to say Roethlisberger is the motor that runs the machine as the talent surrounding him is minimal. Factor in he's a young man with a lot of class and maturity and whenever Roethlisberger enters the draft he will be an early selection. Jacob Bell is a fundamentally sound blocker with nice technique and growth potential. He mans the strong-side tackle position but is better off inside at guard. Ben Herrell on the other hand his already big and also technically sound but the blind side blocker is better on the strong side. Guard Joe Smith and tight end Matt Brandt will get free agent consideration.

Defensively, tackle Larry Burt displayed a lot of potential to us as a freshman but never really took his game to another level last season and seemed to be suffering from the "sophomore blues". We still feel he has a good degree of upside. Phil Smith rushes the edge with speed and plays with a relentless style but is small, short and does not project well to the next level.

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