Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Top Sunflower League Offensive Lineman since 2000

Josh Carroll.  Photo courtesy
the Olathe News.
1. Josh Carroll, Olathe North, 1999-2001

Carroll joins Darren Sproles as one of only two players to have been named a Top 11 player in Kansas in both their junior and senior seasons.  Carroll was ruthless on the football field, using his skills developed on the wrestling mat to dominate defenders.  Olathe North compiled over 10,000 rushing yards in Carroll's three years on the offensive line.

2. Travis Greer, Olathe North, 2002-2004

Greer was a legit 300-pound player, and he used every bit of his weight to dominate on the offensive line.  During his senior year in 2004, he spearheaded and offensive attack than recorded over 3,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards passing.  He was named a Top 11 player following that season.

3. Todd Haselhorst, Olathe East, 2001-2003

While many of the players on this list were tremendous talents that projected at the D2 level, it was Haselhorst who received more FBS offers than anyone.  He chose to play at Kansas over offers from Kansas State, Arizona, Michigan State and Minnesota, among others.  He was the top offensive lineman on Olathe East's explosive offensive attack in 2003 that featured players like Anthony Parks, Andre Jones and Derek Miller, and following the season he was awarded the Buch Buchanan Award as the metro's top lineman.

4. Adam Venegas, Olathe North, 2000-2002

I can rememer seeing Venegas in a game in 2002 and wondering how the heck a guy that size was still in high school. Venegas blocked for Darren Sproles, Maurice Mack and Jim Bouknight during his time with the Eagles, and as a senior he was named to the Kansas Top 11 team.

5. Michael Lisher, Free State, 2007-2009

At 6-foot-2, 275 pounds, Lisher was much larger than the typical center in the Sunflower League and he used the size advantage to lead one of the league's most exciting offensive attacks ever.  The quarterback/running back duo of Camren Torneden and Chucky Hunter found much of their success running behind the talented head coach's son.

6. Brent Jepson, Olathe East, 2003-2005

If there was a prototype for what an offensive lineman should look like, it was Jepson.  He stood 6-foot-4 and weighed 285 pounds, with shoulders that even the largest shoulder pads could barely contain.  He was all-everything as a senior for the Hawks in 2005, clearing out defenders for Dee Bell while also pass blocking for Derek Miller.

7. Clint Benge, SM West, 2003-2005

Benge played his best football when his buttons were pushed.  It was a quick temper on the football field that made him one of the best offensive lineman of the mid-2000s, and helped SM West to rush for over 2,500 yards in both 2004 and 2005.  He was an all-state selection as a senior.

8. Jake Woten, Olathe East, 2006-2008

Darion Hillman.  Photo
courtesy the Shawnee
Woten didn't carry a ton of weight, but he used his tall frame to his advantage, moving defensive lineman at will and helping Olathe East to consecutive 9-win seasons as a junior and a senior.  Following the 2008 season he was named to the Kansas Top 11 team for his efforts as as both an offensive and defensive lineman.

9. Darion Hillman, SM Northwest, 2006-2008

I think Hillman was the oldest looking 17-year-old I've ever seen, and his abilities on the football field only further fueled this idea in my mind.  An extremely talented athlete, Hillman clocked a legit 4.9 electronic forty time before his senior year, which, at the 290 pounds he weighed at the combine, was pretty impressive.  SM Northwest's stellar offensive attack of the late 2000s wouldn't have been possible without Hillman's efforts up front.

10. Scott Gourley, Olathe South, 2009-2011

Being the coach's son generally translates into success on the gridiron.  From Brandon Wier in the mid-1990s, to Michael Lisher, and many others, Gourley slips in at the ten spot as yet another coach's son who did great work.  This past year as a senior Gourley helped lead and explosive Olathe South rushing attack that accumulated 4,094 rushing yards en route to the 6A state title.

1 comment:

E said...

James Barnard-SMS- STARTED 3 years on the OL for Baylor.

Eric Dahl-SMNW- Was first team all-american his two years at Butler, then started 2 years at Missouri State.

Far more than can be said about the guys on this list. C'Mon Man.