A dominant offensive tackle can have an invaluable impact on the success of a college football program, and right now Georgia, Florida and Alabama all are vying for the commitment of a stud in 5-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.
Not only could he be a game-changer, but he can be a program-changer—or in Alabama's case, a program-sustainer—so whoever does end up with the 6'6", 295-pound phenom is going to be in great shape moving forward.
Size is the first thing that you have to notice about Tunsil, but that's not all that he's bringing to the table. Size can be deceiving in football, as the biggest players aren't always the best. But in the case of Tunsil, he complements his size with the skills needed to be a great football player at the collegiate level and potentially beyond.
Where he really stands out is with his footwork at speed. For being almost 300 pounds, he has the footwork of a quarterback and the agility of a running back.
He has very long legs, which allows him to maintain a wide base in pass protection. He can protect a whole lot of turf as a pass protector, but his legs may be most valuable in the running game. He gets low and uses his legs to create a ton of leverage as he pushes back defenders, and it also makes him very scary as a pulling tackle. He has the ability to get out into open space and really pave the way for the rusher.
This is an elite tackle we are talking about, folks.
Now that we know what he's bringing to the table, which of his three favorite teams (Alabama, Georgia and Florida) needs him the most?
Looking at each school's current recruiting class, we can determine the level of need for each team.
Nick Saban and Alabama already have four offensive tackles committed to their class, and two of those are 4-star recruits. Having a great offensive line is a staple for the Crimson Tide, and while bringing on a 5-star player like Tunsil certainly wouldn't hurt, I don't see it as a need.
That leaves Florida and Georgia.
Florida's 2013 class only features two offensive lineman so far, and they are both 3-star players. Meanwhile, Georgia is boasting a class with four offensive lineman, one of which is a 4-star player while the others are 3-star linemen.
If this was purely a numbers game, Florida would take the cake as the most needy team, but it's more than that.
Sometimes it comes down to scheme and how a player fits said scheme, and according to quotes from Tunsil himself via Derek Tyson of ESPN.com, he really likes how Georgia wants to use him:
The athletic tackle prospect has said each team's playbook will factor into his decision. Tunsil said he wants to use his athletic ability to help block on the edge on the next level. So far, Georgia's playbook has impressed him the most.
"I'd have to give it to Georgia," Tunsil said. "They have me pulling. Alabama doesn't really have me pulling. I really don't know about Florida. I haven't really talked to them about it yet."
As I wrote earlier, Tunsil's length, athleticism and stride make him a very dangerous puller, and he obviously knows that. He also obviously feels that Georgia presents him with the best ability to showcase those skills, so unless Florida can present him with reason to believe that they'll want to use him outside of the box in running situations—it appears as if Georgia has the upper hand in this recruiting battle.
It's also worth noting that they don't have a 5-star recruit on their 2013 class yet.
If Georgia wants to be taken seriously in the SEC, they'll have to bring in this elite prospect. He likes their system, so they'll have to close the deal.
The Bulldogs need Tunsil the most.
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