Top 5 Attributes College Coaches Look For in Offensive Linemen | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Top 5 Attributes College Coaches Look For in Offensive Linemen

October 24, 2012 | Pat Curran

Must See College Recruiting Videos

College coaches consider a number of athletic attributes when deciding whether a recruit will fit into their system. Of all the positions in football, offensive lineman remains one of the toughest to recruit for. If you play on the O-line and dream of winning a scholarship to play in college, here are the five things your future coach most wants to see in you.

Toughness

During my research, I contacted college coaches to ask what they look for in an offensive lineman. The first answer—bottom line from all of them—was toughness. Coaches want to see an O-lineman dominate on the field in high school. (Read Tips to Dominate the Line.) If a player isn't dominating at the high school level, he definitely won't do so in college. Finishing a play with a defender lying on his back should be a consistent outcome when a coach watches you on film. (How to Create Your own Highlight Reel.)

Size

Unfortunately, you can't coach size; some athletes have it and others never will. Ideally, an O-lineman is over 6'2" tall and weighs between 240 and 325 pounds. If you are under 6'0'', your likelihood of receiving a scholarship offer is slim to none. Depending on your body type, if you are under 240 pounds, a coach may feel you cannot put on enough weight. On the other end of the spectrum, anyone who weighs over 325 pounds raises a red flag. Obviously the heavier an athlete is, the harder it is for him to move. College coaches would rather have athletes add weight with a proper nutrition program than try to lose a significant amount of weight. Size also includes arm length and hand size, which greatly enhance an athlete's ability to block.

Intelligence

Pre-snap checks and adjustments need to be made quickly, which makes the offensive line one of the toughest positions on the field mentally. In contrast to other positions, O-linemen have very little space in which to make split-second adjustments. Coaches want their offensive linemen to understand their assignments, know who they have during each play, and demonstrate the ability to pick up blitzes and help their teammates. (Read NFL Offensive Lineman Andy Alleman on Taking Chances.)

Flexibility

This is an underrated attribute of a quality offensive lineman. It's not always easy for a big person to stay low and remain explosive out of that low position. However, athletic big men are able to do so, and this is what makes them special. Coaches want to see linemen who are able to get under the pads of their defensive counterparts and drive them off the ball.

Footwork

Like defensive backs. O-linemen are often forced to move backward against opponents who know where they are going. You can't underestimate the importance of the ability to adjust your feet quickly and get into position. Coaches love to see an athlete's feet never stop moving. You need to have quick feet both to kick slide in the passing game and drive block in the running  game.

Feel free to contact me directly on Twitter @PWCurran with any specific offensive line questions you may have.

Pat Curran
- Pat Curran is the Chief Operating Officer of the high school athletic recruiting website, Webletes.com. He was a standout high school football player and college...
Pat Curran
- Pat Curran is the Chief Operating Officer of the high school athletic recruiting website, Webletes.com. He was a standout high school football player and college...
Must See
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,168,742
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 3,066,897
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,544,986

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: Duke University Views: 217,694
Eastbay: It Begins Now Views: 70,986
Path to the Pros 2015: Training Days Views: 118,412
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

College Baseball Recruiting: How to Control Your Own Destiny

As a former college baseball coach I learned a great deal about the college recruiting process. There are many athletes that are capable of playing...

The Tennis College Recruiting Summer Checklist

Basketball Recruiting: It's Never Too Late

7 Bad Behaviors That Will Help You Play College Sports

What the New SAT Means for Student-Athletes

Do Athletes Make Better Students?

NCAA Recruiting Rules: Baseball

14-Year-Old Quarterback Verbally Commits to LSU

Tennis Recruiting: Official vs. Unofficial Visits

Meet the A to Z Basketball Insiders

Understanding the NCAA Eligibility Center

3 Tips for Writing a Strong College Recruiting Mission Statement

What is a Parent's Role in Recruiting?

Boost Your Academics: 4 Tips for High School Athletes

College Recruiting Evaluations: A Different Perspective

Volleyball Recruiting: Searching for More Than Talent

College Football Recruits: 5 Strategies to Get Noticed

Recruiting: You Need to Score, But Your Coach Won't Let You?

Featured STACKlete: Reagan Rogers

College Admission Tips for Ivy League and Division III

How a Bad Game Affects Your Recruiting Status

4 Common College Recruiting Myths Debunked

Basketball Recruits: What You Should Do in November

Why You Should Play Small-School Sports

Prepare Early for the College Recruiting Process

Why You Should Consider Post-Grad Prep School for Football

Volleyball Recruiting: Why Hasn't the Coach Called Me?

5 Things to Know About Football Recruiting

College Recruiting FAQ: How Does National Signing Day Work?

5 Essential Steps for College Recruits

3 Ways to Climb the Recruiting Ladder

New NCAA Rules on Junior College Football Recruiting Explained

Practical Recruiting Tips for High School Athletes

College Recruiting FAQ: Early Action vs. Early Decision

3 Ways to Trust Your Gut During the College Recruiting Process

Combatting the Early Commitment Epidemic in Women

The Best (and Worst) Part of Choosing a School

What's in a National Letter of Intent?

STACK Recruiting Guide 2014: Victor Cruz and the 'It' Factor

Demystifying the College Athletic Recruiting Process

Tennis Recruiting: Making a Decision