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August 11, 2007

The Battle for No. 1: OT

When it comes to the top football talent in the 2008 high school class, the consensus is that receiver is probably the deepest group in the nation.

Offensive tackle comes in a close second.

Rivals.com's Jeremy Crabtree breaks down this year's battle for the top spot at the offensive tackle position.

  • Kalil/Brewster/Smith: Who is the top offensive tackle prospect?

    Battle for No. 1: Offensive Tackles
    Matt Kalil vs. Michael Brewster vs. Tyron Smith

    In this year's class there are some great offensive tackle prospects, headlined by Anaheim (Calif.) Servite standout left tackle Matt Kalil.

    Honestly, there are three guys that I thought could easily be No. 1 at the spot and I'd have zero problem with it. Ohio State fans have to be excited about Michael Brewster from Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater. Tyron Smith of Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde would also rank high on my personal list.

    Each of them brings a little something different to the table.

    Smith is a two-time NIKE Camp MVP, and nobody challenged him at any of the events that we've seen - including the USC Rising Senior Camp. With his frame and athleticism, he looks like a future right tackle. I think he'll be one of the best. With Smith and Kalil it's hard to imagine that USC is going to give up too many sacks in a few years.

    With Brewster, I love his versatility. That's what makes him a special player. Not only is he a dominating run blocker, he can play any of the offensive line spots. While he's an excellent tackle, there are some that believe he might be a great interior player. Either way, you can't go wrong with Brewster. He is somebody we'll have to look at down the road to see how he does as a senior.

    However, I think we made the right call promoting Kalil to the No. 1 spot. Unless he has a bad year or somebody totally comes out of left field, I don't know how he'll be bumped from his perch. When it comes to offensive line, the franchise position is left tackle. It's the one that gets paid millions and millions of dollars, and Kalil is about as good a tackle prospect as we've seen in the past five years.

    Long, athletic, strong, smart, technically sound … you could gush all day about Kalil. He plays against great competition, and I love how he challenges anybody that wants to face him.

    He did it at the NIKE Camp and then did it again at USC's Camp. He does it on the field every Friday night in the toughest league in the Southern Section.

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