Five questions about the 2023 OL rankings

The first Rivals100 for the 2023 class was released last week and there are plenty of questions left as the heart of the spring camp season approaches. Each day this week we will examine the biggest rankings questions at each position. Next up are the offensive linemen.

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1. Is this a weak year on the offensive line?

Strictly by the numbers, the 2023 class of offensive linemen does not appear overly weak compared to the last few but that answer changes after digging a little deeper. There is no clear five-star in this class and that’s unusual because there have been at least four in the last five recruiting classes.

The 2023 Rivals100 features 11 offensive linemen, which isn’t an incredibly low number historically, but there is a serious lack of top-end talent at this point. Surely, there will be many more offensive linemen that get evaluated in the coming months and years but the 2023 class of offensive linemen is definitely off to a slow start in the rankings.

***** 2. Is there a five-star in this class?

There wasn’t an obvious enough five-star to give any prospect the coveted rating in the first rankings release but at least one could get it in the next rankings update this summer. The most likely candidate is Kadyn Proctor, the highest-ranked offensive linemen in the 2023 Rivals100. The Iowa native is a big, nasty tackle prospect with great length, lateral agility, and a knack for finishing his blocks. Proctor also has the body type college coaches are looking for; a broad, lean frame with plenty of natural strength and room to add solid muscle mass.

Miles McVay is the next highest-ranked offensive lineman and his skillset is very impressive but he could be too big at this point. With some positive physical development, McVay could find himself in five-star territory this summer.

***** 3. Will this be a record-breaking year for the Sunshine State?

TJ Shanahan

TJ Shanahan (Chad Simmons / Rivals.com)

Only three times in the history of the Rivals100 has one state had four offensive linemen in the Rivals100. Florida already has three of them in TJ Shanahan, Knijeah Harris and Payton Kirkland.

Shanahan is a mauler of an offensive lineman that could play tackle or guard at the next level. He is so fast at the snap and drives his man off the ball with ease. Harris is similar to Shanahan in that he is a big, aggressive, and strong lineman that has no problem creating running lanes. He is more suited to be an interior lineman at the next level and has the frame to carry the mass necessary to battle big defensive tackles on every play. Kirkland is absolutely massive and defensive linemen have a hard time finding a way around him. His long arms and strong hands make it pretty easy for him to keep defensive linemen at bay.

If these three linemen keep developing like they should, it’s very possible they’ll hold onto their spots in the Rivals100 but at least one more elite offensive lineman from Florida will need to emerge before this class of offensive linemen from the Sunshine State can go down in the history books.

***** 4. Who are the possible risers in the rankings?

Even with a potentially thin year on the offensive line there are a couple names to keep in mind as potential risers come the next rankings update. Virginia native Alex Birchmeier landed at No. 61 in the first Rivals100 and has a very impressive skillset. A state champion wrestler, Birchmeier could play guard or tackle at the next level. He is certainly one prospect that will get an up-close look in the next few months and possibly seeing him square off against some other college-bound prospects could help in his evaluation.

Similarly, Johnathan Hughley out of Georgia has a chance to find himself higher in the rankings. A massive tackle prospect, Hughley has great length and impressive athleticism for his size. His development over the next couple months will be key for his ranking in the next update.

***** 5. Who are some other Rivals250 candidates?

Bradyn Joiner

Bradyn Joiner (Rivals.com)

There are generally about 35 offensive linemen in the final Rivals250 so there are plenty of other players that will emerge over the next few months and years. Spencer Fano from Utah, Bradyn Joiner from Alabama, Luke Brown out Tennessee and Finland native Olaus Alinen who is playing in Connecticut are just some of the names that have piqued our interest.

Fano is a major talent from the Rocky Mountain region, an area that has produced some outstanding linemen over the last few years. Joiner is a road-grading interior lineman that has no problem creating running lanes. Brown and Alinen have the physical tools to stand out in any situation and could play a couple positions on the offensive line at the college level.