Sizing up the linemen in the West

October, 5, 2009

It's an deep class of offensive linemen in the West, but it's a class lacking in that one bonafide superstar-type prospect. There's very little separating any of the players in our top five and it would not be a surprise if the top five was listed in reverse order at the end of the year.

Chris Ward plays tackle at the high school level but likely will move to guard in college. He needs to get stronger but is very sound technically and has a high understanding for how to play the game.

Ward is a good athlete who can move well in the box. He finishes his blocks well and has the ability to crash in a whole side of a defensive line at the HS level. Ward has battled injuries since his sophomore year but when healthy, has been a major difference maker for the Monarchs running game.

Nick Rowland has a similar frame as Ward and might play with even more of a mean streak. He's not as polished as Ward but has a similar upside due to his improving athleticism from a year ago.

Rowland is the kind of lineman that plays through the whistle and has the mentality where he wants to physically dominate his man rather than just block him. He's a strong kid and, like Ward, plays tackle at the high school level but projects best as a guard in college.

Giovanni Di Poalo is yet another high school tackle who projects at another position in college. Di Poalo was recruited to play center by the Trojans and has very good athleticism. He has a frame that he can grow in to and just needs to work on his overall strength before he's ready to make an impact at the next level.

Erik Kohler is the one player in our top five who will likely stay at tackle in college. He has a great frame and has worked hard on his body to improve both his strength and athleticism in the last year. His long arms make him look taller than he really is and the lineman does a nice job leading sweeps and he's an advanced pass blocker as well.

Alex Crosthwaite is a road grader of a lineman and is a tremendous run blocker. He's very strong in the lower body and gets great leverage to drive his man down the field. He has a wide frame, broad shoulders and has a chance to be a solid pass protector at the next level. He plays with a mean streak, is a tough kid and has as much upside as anyone on this list.

Top 10:

1. Chris Ward, 6-4, 285, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, undecided
When healthy, is one of the most dominant players in the region.

2. Nick Rowland, 6-4, 290, Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial, undecided
Could be the most physical lineman in this group.

3. Giovanni Di Poalo, 6-5, 255, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure, USC
Athletic tackle who will transition to center in college.

4. Erik Kohler, 6-4, 255, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, Washington
Fundamentally sound player who has improved his strength in the last year.

5. Alex Crosthwaite, 6-4, 300, San Diego (Calif.) Cathedral Catholic, Cal
Road grader at guard who plays with a mean streak.

6. Micah Hatchie, 6-5, 290, Wailua (Hawaii), undecided
Top lineman on the Islands has ideal size and good strength as well.

7. Kody Innes, 6-4, 275, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro, undecided
The latest standout lineman from the strong Arizona program.

8. Sil Ajawara, 6-4, 305, Los Flores (Calif.) Tesoro, undecided
Moves well for a big man and has a nice upside to him.

9. Ben Riva, 6-6, 285, Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea, Washington
Strong run blocker and much more athletic than given credit for.

10. Hroniss Grasu, 6-3, 240, Encino (Calif.) Crespi, Oregon
Versatile lineman who could play on either side of the ball in college.

The Next 15:

(Players listed with height, weight, high school and college commitment in bold, if applicable)

11. Graham Rowley, 6-3, 260, Waialua (Hawaii), BYU
12. Wade Yandall, 6-4, 295, Carson (Calif.)
13. Michael Criste, 6-5, 285, Mission Viejo (Calif.)
14. Colin Porter, 6-4, 300, Bothell (Wash.), Washington
15. Geoff Gibson, 6-4, 325, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, California
16. Ben Gottschalk, 6-4, 250, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
17. Blair Tushaus, 6-3, 275, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Notre Dame Prep, BYU
18. Roman Sapolu, 6-1, 240, Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison, Oregon State
19. Matthew Jakubiec, 6-8, 275, Anaheim (Calif.) Servite, Arizona
20. David Lefotu, 6-4, 280, Pearl City (Hawaii), Hawaii
2. Manu Mulitalo, 6-3, 305, West Valley City (Utah) Granger, BYU
22. John Fullington, 6-5, 275, Belfair (Wash.) North Mason, Washington State
23. Jordan Black, 6-7, 255, Sandy (Utah) Alta, BYU
24. Avery Poates, 6-4, 310, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde
25. Kaiwi Crabb, 6-5, 250, Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou

Other Offensive Linemen of Note
(Players listed in alphabetical order with height, weight, high school and college commitment in bold, if applicable.)

Eric Alt, 6-5, 330, Ontario (Calif.) Colony
James Atoe, 6-7, 330, The Dalles (Ore.)
Jay Barlow, 6-2, 260, La Mesa (Calif.) Helix
Spencer Beale, 6-4, 301, Lewiston (Idaho), Idaho
Demetrius Beaver, 6-2, 280, Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester
Emmanuel Beavers, 6-4, 310, Wilmington (Calif.) Banning
Troy Boyland, 6-2, 290, Palo Alto (Calif.)
Lamar Bratton, 6-1, 260, Riverside (Calif.) North
Corin Brooks, 6-4, 270, Riverside (Calif.) Arlington
Jase Butorac, 6-2, 270, Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline
Ben Cannon, 6-1, 270, Tucson (Ariz.) Tucson
Devin Dashnaw, 6-6, 315, Surprise (Ariz.) Willow Canyon
Daniel Fleischman, 6-6, 270, Issaquah (Wash.)
Joe Frank, 6-3, 285, Moorpark (Calif.), Air Force
Matthew Galas, 6-0, 265, Modesto (Calif.) Central Catholic
Jared Hansen, 6-5, 275, Tacoma (Wash.) Curtis
Kody Hartley, 6-6, 310, Prosser (Wash.)
Chandler Hubbard, 6-4, 260, Salinas (Calif.)
Marques Johnson, 6-1, 340, Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester
Keli'I Kekuewa, 6-2, 315, Keaau (Hawaii) Kamehameha
Patrick Kim, 6-2, 290, Chino Hills (Calif.) Ayala
Kyle Lillie, 6-2, 270, Surprise (Ariz.) Valley Vista
Ben Loth, 6-5, 275, Encino (Calif.) Crespi
Frank Loyd, 6-3, 260, Honolulu (Hawaii) Moanalua, Hawaii
Dylan Lusk, 6-2, 270, Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial
Braden Lyons, 6-5, 275, Sonoma (Calif.) Sonoma Valley
Mike Marboe, 6-2, 295, Wenatchee (Wash.)
Michael Mitchell, 6-4, 275, Encino (Calif.) Crespi
Shane Moniz, 6-3, 260, Canyon Country (Calif.) Canyon
Daniel Munyer, 6-2, 265, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
Junior Nieves, 6-4, 290, Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial
Kjelby Oiland, 6-3, 265, Spokane (Wash.) Ferris
Dontrell Onuoha, 6-2, 265, La Quinta (Calif.)
Zach Perron, 6-6, 260, Santa Maria (Calif.) St. Joseph's
David Peterson, 6-4, 255, Redlands (Calif.) East Valley
William Poehls, 6-6, 290, Chandler (Ariz.)
Connor Rains, 6-6, 300, Shingle Springs (Calif.) Ponderosa
Billy Rone, 6-4, 285, Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos de Niza
Brian Roth, 6-5, 275, El Toro (Calif.)
Ty Sambraillo, 6-5, 255, Watsonville (Calif.) St. Francis
B.J. Sonboli, 6-3, 285, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos
Derek Stickney, 6-6, 300, Placentia (Calif.) El Dorado
Tyler Sulka, 6-5, 270, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
Colin Tanigawa, 6-3, 270, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola
David Vieru, 6-3, 275, Gresham (Ore.) Centennial
Bryce Walker, 6-7, 300, Pleasant Grove (Utah), Utah State



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