For this installment of Cassius’ Corner I’ll take a look at a guy who will be coming into one of the most scrutinized (and rightfully so) units of the Buckeye offense, the offensive line. The man I’m talking about is Andrew Norwell, who was recently mentioned here.
Who he is
Norwell is a 6’7”, 275 pound offensive tackle who will graduate next year from Anderson High School in Cincinnati. Andrew is ranked as the sixth best offensive tackle by Rivals, been given 4/5 stars and has an overall rating of 5.9/6.1. Scouts, Inc./ESPN has Andrew on their ESPNU top 150 watch list. He verbally committed on signing day 2009 and oddly enough was locked up by John Peterson, Ohio State’s recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach.
What he does well
Andrew takes advantage of his huge frame and simply bullies defensive ends out of the play. You say you miss the days of pancakes? Well, you may not have to wait much longer, from the video, I’ve seen Norwell is very good at continuing his blocks downfield until the D-lineman is flat on his back.
Not only is he superb blocker on his own, but he also works very well with his teammates when double team blocking. Because of his superior size and uncanny ability to push defenders off the line, it is nearly impossible for a D-lineman to gain separation and get around the 275 pound tackle preventing penetration on his side of the line.
What he needs to work on
There’s not much to say here, Norwell appears nearly ready to step in to any college line and find success. However, no player is without his faults, and Andrew’s lie in his feet. You certainly can’t expect a 6’7”, 275 pound guy to be nimble on his feet, but he needs to get quicker in order to prevent edge pass rushers from getting around him.
The fact of the matter remains, a defensive lineman has to get around him on his first try, because if Andrew gets a hand or two on him, it’ll be like throwing up a roadblock in front of the backfield. Norwell, according to Scouts, could also use a stronger initial hit off the line to further his domination.
Where he’ll fit in
Don’t let the fact that he was recruited by a tight ends coach fool you, Norwell is an offensive lineman through and through. The only real potential for movement is whether he can move in and play the guard position or possibly play the left tackle in college. In my humble assessment, he’ll stick to the right side for at least his first year, if after that he emerges as the best tackle on the team, then the coaching staff will look at flipping him on the line.
(Note: This video is from Andrew’s sophomore season, its hard to find recent video without paying for it, and I’m a poor college student.)