4-star JUCO offensive lineman Chad Mavety is one of the best junior college recruits in the 2014 class, and he's getting major attention from some very big programs.
That shouldn't be surprising, because Mavety has the potential to be a huge addition to some lucky program coming out of junior college. He's 6'6.5'' and 320 pounds, so he has elite measurables, and he's ranked as the No. 2 JUCO offensive tackle and No. 2 overall JUCO player in the nation, behind only Jermaine Eluemunor.
Consider that at his size, Mavety is almost as big as 2014 No. 1 overall offensive tackle Cameron Robinson (6'6'', 330 pounds), and he's far bigger than last year's No. 1 tackle, 5-star Laremy Tunsil (6'6'', 295 pounds).
As a football coach, you can teach a player a lot, but size is not something that can be taught. Mavety has the size to enter a program and hold his own against some of the biggest, fastest and strongest defensive linemen in the country.
Naturally, Alabama is one of Mavety's main interests, according to a report by Jared Shanker of ESPN.com:
Alabama recently offered Mavety, and the 6-foot-6, 320-pound tackle from New Jersey likes Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban's history of developing junior college players.
"I like the fact that Coach Saban, when he recruits a juco it's because he needs them and wants them to play right away," Mavety said. "I have a good relationship with him, talk to him every week. Coach [Mario] Cristobal, he's cool and knows a lot and he's put a lot in the league. I can certainly trust him."
That said, another major college football program is making a big impression with the elite JUCO recruit, Ohio State (via Shanker):
The first April visit for the juco standout will come this weekend, when he travels to Columbus to visit Ohio State.
"I like the fact they have seniors on the offensive line. It gives me an opportunity to come step up right away," Mavety said. "I have a good relationship with Urban Meyer and Ed Warinner, talk to them every three or four days."
Shanker also mentioned that Oklahoma and Florida State also look like players for Mavety's commitment, but let's focus on the two behemoths in this race for a minute.
When trying to determine the best fit for a recruit, there are far too many factors at play—some personal—to really know without a shadow of a doubt where he'd fit best. That said, we can look at certain tangible factors like winning, playing time and even proximity to home and at least come away with an educated take.
When you break down Ohio State and Alabama, both programs have legitimate national championship aspirations. Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide are obviously the program on top of the hill right now, but if there's a program that can knock them off, it would be Urban Meyer's Buckeyes. He also has championship experience, and he's put together a very strong squad. Let's call it a draw here.
As far as proximity is concerned, it's going to be a hike to either school, though Columbus is much closer to Garden City, New York than Tuscaloosa is. Let's give Ohio State the slight edge in this category.
Finally there's the depth chart, and as Mavety alluded to in his quotes, Ohio State would offer him the opportunity to fight for playing time early on. He could compete to take Jack Mewhort's spot once Mewhort moves on, and as a JUCO recruit he will have experience in his favor.
Alabama's big transition at offensive line is going to happen this year in 2013, and even after that the Crimson Tide went out and signed three big offensive tackles in the 2013 class, highlighted by 5-star offensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson. Mavety could compete to be part of the next transition once Cyrus Kouandjio, JUCO transfer Leon Brown or Austin Shepherd move on, but overall, he'd still be looking at a lot more competition, especially in Robinson.
Ohio State seems to offer him a better depth-chart situation. His experience would allow him to compete for playing time with the Buckeyes. That, plus the closer proximity and the championship aspirations, would make Ohio State a great fit.
It's worth noting that Shanker's report did state that Mavety has a long-time recruiting relationship with Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, so don't count out the Sooners in this race.
That said, if it was to come down to the two major powerhouses, Ohio State could end up being the best fit for Mavety.