Varsity Football

#VK17FB People movers: The Top 10 offensive linemen for 2017

The Wichita Eagle

Other Top 10 lists: QB | RB | WR

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Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle

1. A.J. Vang, Goddard senior center

  • 6-foot-2, 280 pounds
  • All-5A selection in 2016

Goddard’s offense took a massive leap in 2016 en route to a state championship game appearance, thanks to a much improved offensive line. Vang is the anchor of Goddard’s line from his center position, as he earned first team All-5A and All-Metro honors as a junior. Goddard’s offense is looking potent once again, as the line will be even better this season with Vang, Aaron Valentine, and Chod Morrow returning.

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Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle

2. Evan Clark, Derby senior guard

  • 6-foot-3, 275 pounds
  • Honorable mention 6A pick in 2016

Clark has the raw tools that recruiters love, as his recruitment began to pick up at the Division I level this summer. He has been a dominant force for Derby at his left guard position on the line, especially last season during the Panthers’ undefeated run to their second straight state championship. Derby coach Brandon Clark could tinker the line and move Clark over to left tackle, as well as use him both ways, but wherever Clark ends up he will be one of the state’s best lineman.

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Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle

3. Mac Copeland, Collegiate senior tackle

  • 6-foot-4, 245 pounds
  • Honorable mention 4A II pick in 2016

Copeland will be a two-way force for Collegiate during his final season, coming off a honorable mention All-4A II junior campaign. Copeland is also verbally committed to the University of Kansas and will be relied upon heavily this season for a Collegiate line that will be transitioning in two new starters. But with Copeland protecting quarterback Cody McNerney’s blind side, the Spartans’ offense should once again be explosive.

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Fred Solis Correspondent

4. Lawson Schultz, Buhler senior guard

  • 5-foot-11, 245 pounds
  • All-4A I selection in 2016

Buhler is absolutely loaded on its line this season, headlined by the return of Schultz for his senior season. Schultz is one of the best linemen coach Steve Warner has had at Buhler, as his tenacity and motor help him negate his lack of height. Schultz will be tasked will catching up an inexperienced offensive line, but he is also a standout defensive tackle and the Crusaders might have the best line in the state with 4A I selections in Schultz, Braden Rose, and Brendan Webb all returning.

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Jaime Green

5. Austin Youngers, Garden Plain senior guard

  • 6-foot, 240 pounds
  • All-3A selection in 2016

Few linemen were as good as Youngers on both sides of the ball last season, as he earned All-Metro and All-3A honors. Garden Plain loves to have guards who can lead the way on pulls and Youngers is an ideal candidate, as his motor and size make him a bowling ball leading the way for Garden Plain’s running back. Look for another big season, as Youngers returns to his guard spot on the Owls’ line.

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Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle

6. Casey Glann, West senior tackle

  • 6-foot, 215 pounds
  • Honorable mention 6A pick in 2015

Glann was already one of the state’s top tackles as a sophomore in 2015, but lost his junior season due to a torn knee ligament last September. Glann has completed his rehabilitation and coach Weston Schartz thinks he has come back even bigger and stronger for his senior season. He earned honorable mention All-6A honors as a sophomore, so expect Glann to have a big season at his tackle spot in 2017.

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Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle

7. Matthew Lange, Conway Springs senior tackle

  • 6-foot-1, 240 pounds
  • Honorable mention 3A pick in 2016

Lange has been turning heads this summer with the numbers he has been pumping in the weight room and he appears poised for a major senior season both ways for Conway Springs. The Cardinals should have one of the top offensive lines in 3A with Lange, Daniel Becker, and Skyler Kunz all returning. Lange has the size and the athleticism to be dominant in the running game, as he leads the way in Conway Spring’s Single Wing offense.

8. Isaac Helms, Chaparral junior guard

  • 5-foot-11, 245 pounds
  • Honorable mention 3A pick in 2016

Chaparral will have to replace nearly all of its offensive production from last season, but the good news is that Helms will return to anchor the offensive line. Helms ascended last season as only a sophomore, earning unanimous all-league honors and becoming an honorable mention all-3A pick. Helms is a dominant left guard for Chaparral, as he led the team in key blocks and pancakes on the line last season and is only getting better with another year of experience.

9. Earon Garcia, Northwest senior center

  • 5-foot-11, 240 pounds
  • All-City League pick in 2016

Garcia will be a veteran presence on Northwest’s line this season, as he will begin his third season as Northwest’s starting center. He earned All-City League honors last season and coach Steve Martin thinks Garcia will take another step this season, as he will have to become the team’s leader on the line. The Grizzlies should once again have an explosive offense and Garcia will be the one leading the way in the trenches.

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Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle

10. Jackson Brunow, Eisenhower senior tackle

  • 6-foot-2, 250 pounds
  • Honorable mention All-AVCTL II pick in 2016

Eisenhower will have its tallest and largest offensive line in its program history with Brunow as its face of what coach Marc Marinelli is also calling the best line he’s ever had with the Tigers. Marinelli thinks Eisenhower will have a bounceback season after its 3-win campaign last year and the transformation will begin up front. Brunow is the team’s top lineman and will remain at his spot at right tackle to lead the way for Eisenhower this season, as the line will average 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds this season.

NEXT FIVE: Hunter Barbeau, Andale senior; Wade Hull, Carroll senior; Chod Morrow, Goddard senior; Jordan Renard, Derby senior; Aaron Valentine, Goddard senior.

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