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May 28, 2013
Davis leads list of top Texas tackles
Kealvin Davis, Garland Lakeview Centennial (committed to Texas A&M)1.
2. Koda Martin, Manvel
3. Ty Barrett, Dallas Skyline
4. Josh Pelzel, Rockdale (committed to Baylor)
5. Blake Blackmar, Clear Lake
6. Matthew Mucha, Clear Lake
7. Robert Castaneda, Round Rock (committed to Kansas State)
8. David Anzaldua, Edinburgh North
Once of the things that just jumps out at you when watching film or camps or even games from last fall is the overall lack of talent on the offensive side of the ball in the state of Texas for the class of 2014. It carries over from the skill positions to the interior line as there is only one four star rated prospect per Rivals.com in the entire state among offensive linemen -- and that prospect (Demetrius Knox) is rated as a guard, not a tackle. There could eventually be some guys that move up to four star status (indeed, there's a few guys who definitely have four star caliber offer lists) but each of them have one significant issue that keeps them from achieving that ranking.
This is evidenced by the fact that the top tackle in the state is Davis who is more of a project than player at this point in his career. He was one of the first offers from Texas A&M in the class of 2014 and it's due to his feet you won't find a more mobile offensive lineman in the state this year, especially in terms of his ability to move laterally. He's can get to the second level quicker than just about anyone and he can get out quickly when he pulls and traps. His first step is more akin to that of a great defensive tackle's than it is an offensive lineman's. These factors alone are certainly worthy of a four star ranking. However, Davis is in the process of reshaping his body (he weighed over 300 pounds as a freshman) and is currently closer to 250 to 260 pounds which is relatively light for a tackle. Nonetheless, he's eventually going to play at 300 plus pounds with his frame and be able to pull and move at an NFL level.
Martin is listed as a tight end by Rivals.com but the Aggies and many other programs have offered him as a tackle. That's because he stands 6 foot 6 and has the frame to be much larger -- his father told AggieYell.com that he could be 295 pounds by the end of his redshirt freshman year in college. Ironically enough, Martin hasn't played tackle at all in high school although he has seen time at defensive end. In fact, there's not nearly as much film of him as a tight end as there is as a defensive end. He doesn't have a great first step but he can pop up out of his stance pretty quickly, he can break down, has good upper body strength, knows how to use his hands, and runs well.
In contrast, Barrett is more physically ready to go right now. He's got the height and even more importantly he's got long arms that he can use to keep pass rushers at bay. He's also got surprisingly good footwork. He needs to add some good weight but he's not that different in comparison to many lineman his age at this point in his development. However, what Barrett needs to do more than anything else is become more physical. He's certainly got the size to be a dominant player right now but he has to play like it every down.
Pelzel moves surprisingly well for a guy who's currently listed at over 330 pounds. He can get off the ball well and gets to the second level quickly. He stays relatively low and likes to finish blocks. However, he's more of a natural right tackle.
Blackmar is versatile enough to have played center, guard, and tackle during his high school career. His father Bruce played in the offensive line at Texas during the 1980's and Blackmar himself has good technique, comes off the ball low, keeps his hands inside the defender's shoulders, and is a good finisher. He also is adept at getting to the second level versus linebackers.
Mucha is Blackmar's teammate and even though he lacks his size he has the frame to add much more weight. He also plays left tackle and has very good feet in terms of being able to move with rushers laterally. He's also adept at getting downfield on blocks and has a surprising amount of strength for a guy who has a lot more weight that he can eventually add.
Castaneda plays high but has a pretty good ability to get to the second level and stays after people. He flips from left to right in high school but appears to be more of a natural right tackle at this stage of his development.