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College football recruiting: Colorado establishing rep as breeding ground for elite offensive linemen


Step right up! It’s time to spin the college football recruiting geography wheel to discover the nation’s elite talent from each state.

Need a gun-slinging quarterback? Saddle up in Texas.

A corn-fed tight end? The Midwest makes sense.

Defensive speed? Search the Southeast.

Here in Colorado, a so-called recruiting flyover state, the reputation is less defined with fewer blue-chip prospects in comparison to those regions. But recent history tells another narrative…

Welcome to Colorado: Home of the elite prep offensive lineman.

“We have a load of talent,” said Valor Christian’s Jake Maikkula, an offensive tackle with scholarship offers from schools representing all five power conferences. “They push me — even though I don’t personally know them — to do my best.”

The numbers back it up, according to 247Sports.com.

• In Colorado, for the Class of 2022, there are currently seven offensive linemen ranked inside the state’s top-15 overall recruits.

• Colorado has produced five OL prospects since 2019 that were four-star recruits — George Fitzpatrick (Cherry Creek ’22), Andrew Gentry (Columbine ’20), Roger Rosengarten (Valor ‘20) and Barrett Miller (Eaglecrest ‘19) — for the most of any position group in the state.

• A total of 27 prep offensive linemen from Colorado have signed or committed to play Division-I football over the past four recruiting cycles.

Fitzpatrick is the latest elite big fella (6-foot-6, 285 pounds) to hail from Colorado. His emergence surprises, though, when you consider that he entered the program as a tight end. It was head coach Dave Logan who asked for the switch to offensive tackle. A smart move.

Last week, Fitzpatrick committed to Ohio State after considering scholarship offers from Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma and Oregon.

“He may be the most highly recruited offensive lineman I’ve ever had,” Logan said. “And this is my 29th year.”

It’s not unusual for Colorado high school offensive linemen to reach the pinnacle of football success. Just ask Broncos left guard Dalton Risner (Wiggins), Giants left tackle Nate Solder (Buena Vista), or retired five-time Pro Bowler Tony Boselli (Fairview). But this new class is built a little differently.

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At Six Zero Strength in Centennial, aspiring college offensive linemen are given specialized training from Matt McChesney — a six-year NFL OL veteran — often from the time they enter high school. Like Connor Jones, the Michigan-bound offensive tackle at Palmer Ridge, whose Six Zero workouts were recorded and pushed on social media to college recruiters.

“In Colorado, in general, we definitely have to work harder to get our name out there,” Jones said. “That’s …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports

      

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