Monday, May 19, 2008

Looking Back at Class of 2003...Offensive Guards

Full Schedule by Position

Five Star Offensive Guards

1. Ofa Mohetau, Brigham Young - Gifted with the size and skill to be a premier lineman in the NFL for years to come, Ofa had arguably the worst work ethic of any player. Injured at BYU, he transferred to the College of the Sequoias (CA). He signed with Texas Tech in 2006. From here on out, I'm going to provide you with some comments on Ofa I received from the guys at RRS when I asked for their insight on Ofa for the blog:

  • You won't be able to do that. Ofa ate your blog.
  • He will sit on you if you act up at the Ghost Bar, where is employed as a bouncer.
  • By far one of the most talented OL prospects I've seen. However, he had not heart or desire.
  • My neighbors are friends of Ofa's family and cousins to the Fehoko's. They tell me that in their "community" people can not understand why Ofa blew his chance for a college education and a pro football career.
  • That's crazy. It's the same feeling we have in my "community."

There you have it...some thoughts on arguably the biggest waste of talent in Texas Tech history. He also provides a good amount of humor for the membership.

Four Star Offensive Guards

2. Drew Radovich, Southern Cal - Radovich suffered from a nagging hip injury early in his career yet he was a 2 year starter for the Trojans. He spent 2006 as their starting left OG before moving to RT his senior year. To Pete Carroll's surprise, Radovich went undrafted in the 2008 NFL Draft but was happily picked up by the Minnesota Vikings.

3. Andrew Bain, Miami (FL) - Serving primarily as a backup (32 games) for the Hurricanes, he moved into the starting role in 2007 and started 10 games. Considered a fringe NFL prospect at best, he signed with the New York Giants after going undrafted in the 2008 NFL Draft.

4. Sam Baker, Southern Cal - Moved to tackle during his redshirt year, Baker started 49 games (39 consecutive) for the Trojans, earning All-American status twice (1st - 2006, 2nd - 2007). He suffered from a long line minor leg injuries. The son of AFL commissioner Dan Baker, he was drafted in the 1st Round (21st Overall) by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2008 NFL Draft.

5. Jeff Zuttah, Michigan - A sad but interesting story. Zuttah signed with the Wolverines out of high school. He made them aware of his sickle-cell anemia but the Michigan Athletic Dept decided that Zuttah couldn't play sports in Ann Arbor after he had signed a scholorship to play football for them. To their credit, the Wolverines offered to honor his scholorship and allow him to be a part of the team (but not play), but he chose to transfer to Stanford instead and was granted a waiver by the NCAA so he didn't have to sit out a year. However, he only played in a few games before his career with the Cardinal ended. I found a few mentions that he excelled in track at Stanford but nothing too concrete.

6. Donnie Woods, Maryland - Woods played 4 years for the Terps before enlisting in the military. Enjoy this article about the military, his recruitment out of high school, and a man with a good head on his shoulders.

7. Tripp Carroll, Virginia Tech - Now I bring you the story of a kid who lost the heart to play the game at a high level and quit the team (and football altogether) after 2 seasons in Blacksburg.

8. John Frady, Florida State - Moved to center shortly after arriving in Tallahassee, Frady started the next 3 years for the Noles despite his relatively small stature (6'4" 270 lbs). At one point before his senior year, the coaches looked at moving him to tight end. However, that didn't last for long and he remained at center.

9. Brian Zimpel, Oklahoma - There's not too much info out there on Zimpel as he only lasted a season in Norman before dropping out. I can't find where he surfaced at any other school of note.

10. Kevin Brown, UCLA - He was transitioned to the defensive line during his first year in Westwood. Brown started his final 25 games for the Bruins and was an integral part of their defensive front four. He went undrafted in the 2008 NFL Draft but signed on with the Seattle Seahawks at the same time they picked up Texas Tech WR Joel Filani.

11. Zeb McKinzey, Georgia - Zeb never started a game for the Dawgs of Athens. He spent a season as a reserve offensive lineman but multiple shoulder injuries cut his career short and he left the team sometime during or after his junior season in 2006.

12. PJ Irvin, UCLA - Unlike McKinzey, PJ Irvin stayed healthy during his time with the Bruins but never cracked the starting offensive line. He saw limited action as an offensive lineman but saw playing time on the special teams units.

13. Jarrod Britt, Auburn - Britt was another casualty of multiple shoulder injuries. He had to have multiple major surgeries done to repair his shoulder and decided to leave the program before the 2005 season.

14. Ian-Yates Cunningham, Virginia - A back injury delayed the start to his career but Yates Cunningham was able to start 31 games at offensive guard in Charlottesville. He went undrafted in the 2008 NFL Draft but was quickly signed by the Kansas City Chiefs.

15. Dan Mazan, Penn State - Mazan transferred to Rutgers after redshirting at Penn State in 2003. However, he didn't fare much better with the Scarlet Knights as he was continually passed over on the depth chart by other offensive lineman.

Other Offensive Guards of Note

16. Cody Wallace, Texas A&M - Moved to center at A&M where he started 3 years for the Aggies. Wallace was a 4th round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2008 NFL Draft.

42. Steven Justice, Wake Forest - A 3 year starter at center for the Demon Deacons, Just was a 6th round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in the 2008 NFL Draft.

The Tech Factor

See the Ofa saga along with my post in Offensive Tackles. I included all of the Tech lineman from that year in that post.

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