AUSTIN — If the quarterback position is the most important position on a football field, then the boys or men protecting him are a close second.
Lone Star Prospects released it 2020 offensive linemen rankings Sunday, naming Cedar Hill’s Courtland Ford, Coppell’s Garrison Wheatley, and Navasota’s Jordan Jefferson its top athletes in the trenches.
The rankings aren’t limited to the University Interscholastic League, which is geared toward governing Texas public schools, either. Three Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) athletes at two of the most critical positions on the offensive line made the lists.
Liberty Christian tackle Andy Buttrell, Nolan Catholic center Sean Migliaccio, and Second Baptist tackle Dylan Cordell landed No. 6, No. 9, and No. 11 in their respective categories.
“The ranking doesn’t surprise me at all, I am a very hard worker. I know I can compete a lot better than a lot of players in UIL,” said Buttrell, a 6-foot-6 and 270-pound sophomore. “It’s at one of the most important positions on the offensive line, too. Somebody’s got to watch the quarterback’s blindside. If a right handed quarter back gets hit from my side, the odds they will either fumble the ball or get a severe injury are very high.”
He compared the TAPPS level of play comparable to that at Argyle High School. The Eagles reached the UIL Class 4A Division I regional quarterfinal round when he was a freshmen.
With two Class 6A athletes and one Class 4A standout leading the pack, the public school sector is no slouch. Ford, the top rated offensive tackle in the class, and Jefferson, the highest rated guard, each carry a four-star rating in 247Sports’ composite rankings. Wheatley, the state’s No. 1 center in LSP’s rankings, has zero stars.
Ford is a 6-foot-6 and 305-pound blind side blocker that has an April 29 offer from the Baylor University on the table. That came despite the Longhorns’ 4-6 overall and 3-4 District 7-6A down season.
Wheatley reached an elite level during his sophomore season. He helped the Cowboys accumulate more than 5,000 yards passing and rushing and score more than 60 touchdowns during the 2017 season. That included opening holes for junior standout and 1,300-yard rusher Ryan Hirt.
Jefferson helped the Rattlers finish 6-5 overall and 4-1 in District 10-4A-1 en route to their first district title since 2015. With the four-star Texas A&M hard commit as a focal component of one of the most dominant offensive lines in its district, Navasota scored 34.3 points per game and 35 or more points in six matchups. He is also the No. 2 guard in Texas, per 247Sports.
Migliaccio, one of the smallest linemen in any of the group at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, faces a different mountain on the TAPPS Division I level.
On a game-to-game basis, he faces and dominates defenders with more varsity experience. Especially after he stepped into his first starting role after the starting center quit unexpectedly.
One is his teammate, uber-talented defensive end Nana Osafa-Mensah — a four-star athlete rated as the No. 5 weak-side defensive end in the state.
“Because of [Osafa-Mensah’s] skill and great athleticism, having to try to block him would have to be the hardest for me,” Migliaccio said. “It was also really beneficial to go against him cause he taught a lot, plus there aren’t a lot of people in our district better then him so going against him everyday, and our other great [defensive linemen] helped a lot also.”
Marcus Matthews-Marion is the managing editor of TexasHSFootball, covering prep football throughout the Lone Star State and collegiate and professional football throughout the country. Follow him on Twitter, @TheMJMatthews, and read more of his content here.
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