High school sports | commentary

Baxter: Offensive line class is solid

March 23, 2014 

HERE’S A LOOK at the Top 10 offensive linemen for the 2015 recruiting cycle.

At the top of the list is Summerville guard Zack Bailey. Bailey (6-5, 300) is athletic and physical and is able to cut off explosive defensive tackles; he’s strong on angle blocks and pulls well, and is good at short-set on pass protection. He has offers from most of the SEC and ACC schools.

Boiling Springs tackle Noah Green is at the No. 2 spot. He’s athletic and is one of the top pass-blocking linemen in the state. He’s developing his run-blocking skills. He was the top lineman at last year’s All-State Football Combine and is committed to Clemson.

No. 3 is Gaffney’s T.J. Haney, who has been on our watch list since his freshman year. Haney (6-6, 320) is a strong pass-blocking tackle with good feet. He’s quick in his set-up and gets good separation with his hands. He has several FBS offers as well as several FCS offers.

No. 4 is Blake Durant (6-5, 320) of Laurence Manning Academy. He’s one of the biggest guys in SCISA and he has a skills set matching those of our top players at this position. He’s athletic and performed well at the recent SPARQ combine for Nike. He has a pair of FCS offers.

No. 5 is Victor Johnson of North Augusta. Johnson (6-5, 265) is proficient as a pass blocker, with quick feet and excellent use of his hands; he’s physical. He has a pair of FCS offers.

No. 6: Hudson Little (6-3, 279) Bishop England: Undersized but physical and skilled.

No. 7: Stephen Haralambis (6-3, 270), Chapin: Will be recruited as DL, as well.

No. 8: Zach Evans (6-2, 279), South Florence: Undersized; could move to guard at FCS or DII.

No. 9: Alex Taylor (6-8, 280) Berkeley: Second year player still developing; huge upside.

No. 10: Ethan Hardin (6-4, 280), Boiling Springs: Solid pass blocker; DII caliber player.

TIGHT ENDS: Since we do not have a deep class at tight end, I’ll include them with the offensive linemen.

No. 1: Collin Reed (6-3, 212), Boiling Springs: Clearly the top player at this position in the state; has interest from several FBS schools and has FCS schools offering. Excellent skill set and can play in the “Z” or slot.

No. 2: Ben Jaques (6-6, 200), Wando: Big target; lean, but shows good skills in blocking. Has good hands.

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