The trouble with recruiting linemen

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
1:45
PM ET
Colleague Brad Edwards delved inside one of the toughest aspects of the college recruiting game: recruiting linemen on both sides of the ball.

Just like in the NFL, development trumps pedigree, especially as players' bodies change. That makes recruiting linemen a bit of a guessing game.
"Great linemen are very difficult to find," ESPN's national recruiting director Tom Luginbill said. "At 16 years old, a kid might be 6-foot-1, 260 [pounds], but by 19, he's 6-3, 310. Being able to project how much bigger and stronger a kid can get is a real challenge."

Of course, size and strength are just part of what makes a lineman good at his trade. Competitive spirit is an intangible quality that isn't always evident with kids who can succeed throughout high school by simply being bigger than everyone else.

"It's the single-biggest thing we look for in practices for the Under Armour All-America Game," Luginbill added. "For the first time in their careers, these linemen are placed in front of someone who's as good or better than they are. Nobody knows how they're going to react when they can't simply overpower people and have to compete."

It's a fascinating look. Check it out.

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