High school tight end-defensive end who won five state championships (three basketball, two football) at Oklahoma prep powerhouse Bishop McGuiness. Redshirted in 2009. Played all 14 games in 2010, starting the final 12 at left guard and logging 72 knockdowns. Started all 13 games in 2011, including seven at center, six at left guard. Started all 12 games played at center in 2012; did not play against Baylor (concussion). Missed part of 2013 spring practice with a broken finger on his right hand. Started all 13 games at center in the fall when he was awarded the Wuerffel Trophy (exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement) and Lee Roy Selmon Spirit Award (academic excellence, community service) and was a finalist for the Campbell Trophy ("Academic Heisman") and Rimington Trophy (nation's top center).
Good grip strength. Uses his hands well to control and steer defenders. Highly intelligent. Plays smart. Sets the protections and makes line calls. Tough and dependable. Experienced, four-year starter. Outstanding work habits. Exceptional character. Charismatic, humble, well-grounded leader. Versatile. Produced the best 20-yard shuttle time (4.37 seconds) and three-cone time (7.30 seconds) of any offensive lineman at the combine.
Is on the ground a lot. Limited athlete. Average play strength. Can be overwhelmed by size and struggle to cut off speed. Could stand to do a better job finishing blocks. Bench-pressed 225 pounds only 22 times at the combine.
A functional positional blocker who lacks the foot quickness, athletic ability and strength desired in a starter, yet consistently finds a way to get the job done and overcome his physical limitations. Intelligence and intangibles are off the charts and could allow him to capture and hold onto a starting job. The sum is better than the parts.