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Opinion: Left tackle U

Texas A&M has become hotbed for pro-caliber linemen

Published: Monday, January 13, 2014

Updated: Monday, January 13, 2014 23:01

Cedric

Mark Doré

With Cedric Ogbuehi (pictured), Jake Matthews and Luke Joeckel, A&M could have a left tackle selected in the first five picks of three consecutive NFL drafts.

Joekel

File

There are schools known for having a reputation of producing an infusion of talent at a specific position.

Most famously, Pennsylvania State University is known as “Linebacker U” — although I personally think it should be the University of Miami for producing the likes of Ray Lewis, Dan Morgan, Ted Hendricks and Jonathan Vilma. The University of Southern California is widely recognized as the “Running Back U” for generating elite players such as O.J. Simpson, Marcus Allen and Reggie Bush, just to name a few.

Don’t get me wrong, Texas A&M has produced a plethora of unbelievably talented players throughout its rich history — Dat Nguyen, Quentin Coryatt, Aaron Glenn and Von Miller — but not with the consistency at a specific position like the above mentioned schools to be deemed worthy of a title like “Linebacker U” or “Running Back U.”

Until now.

Left Tackle U. Texas A&M has the possibility to field three Top-5 draft picks at left tackle for three years in a row. Last year, Luke Joeckel was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the second overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft. In the upcoming 2014 NFL draft in April, Jake Matthews is projected to be a Top-5 pick, some say as high as second overall, just as former teammate Joeckel did last year.

Although we are losing Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans to the draft this year (both also projected to be first round draft selections), the Aggie family was given a gift when offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi announced on Twitter that he would be returning for his senior season.

“The NFL has always been a dream of mine but I want to achieve that dream with my education and as much preparation as possible at my position,” he tweeted. “I am excited to return to College Station to continue my education and play another season with your coaches and teammates.”

Ogbuehi is a wily veteran and will be a perfect fit to fill the void of the loss of Matthews to the draft. He has big shoes to fill, but at 6-foot-5, 300 pounds, if you saw the guy, you’d know he’s the man to fill them. As a senior, Ogbuehi is battle tested and will be a vital leader on the offensive line.

Assuming a strong, injury-free season from Ogbuehi in his senior year — and the sheer importance of protecting the quarterback in football — he could be a top prospect in the 2015 NFL draft and the next in line of highly drafted offensive lineman sprouting from the roots of Kyle.

I would venture to say that Texas A&M is familiar with traditions and building a tradition of great offensive lineman is something that I can get used to. If we keep on the path we’re going, it’s only a matter of time before A&M will be deemed “LT U,” but that’s up for debate.

 

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