Four star talent paces '09 crop of Centex OL

Killeen's Rhonte Scales is an A&M pledge

The 2009 group of offensive linemen in Central Texas is as deep and talented as the area has ever seen. It has star power at the top with two four star players, but the group has plenty of college caliber talent.

Over the last few years, Central Texas has been cranking out quality Division I offensive linemen.

The 2008 class was a bumper crop with several athletic blockers, highlighted by a pair of Big 12 signees with Austin High's Mark Buchanan (Texas) and Round Rock Westwood's Trevor Marrongelli (Kansas), as well as a third road grater in Killeen's David Grant (Nebraska).

But even as good as the 2008 class was the 2009 group is bigger, more athletic, and deeper than their predecessors.

The conversation as to just who is the top offensive linemen in the class starts with, and perhaps ends with, Grant's former teammate Rhontae Scales, an early commitment to Texas A&M who has an extremely high ceiling at the next level. A Scout.com four star prospect and currently rated as 12th best offensive tackle in America, Scales is really a cross between the last two major college signees to play for Coach Sam Jones. Like 2007 Oklahoma State signee Jonathan Rush, Scales is a long 6-foot-5 and 285-pounds and he has good footwork to boot. He can sink his hips in pass protection and really understands how to use his leverage to his advantage. He also can add muscle mass once he gets into a college weight program. Like Grant, Scales has the raw strength to get the job done at the point of attack and not only does he finish blocks, he is also excellent in situations where he has to pull and can get downfield and move people.

Central Texas is home to a pair of four star prospects up front in 2009 as Scales is joined by Lake Travis' Paden Kelley, who Scout.com currently rates at the No. 16 prep tackle in the country. Kelley, like Scales, already has his college future set as he will join his high school teammate Garrett Gilbert at Texas. One of the most athletic offensive linemen in the state, Kelley is excellent in pass protection and really knows how to move his feet and finish plays.

After these two superstars, the crop of offensive linemen in the area remains heavy on talent. Waco Midway's Ty Horn has committed to TCU and the 6-foot-5, 270-pounder is coming off of an all-District season for the Panthers. Lexington's Michael Brown was an early pledge to Texas A&M but his recruiting has since opened back up due to the change in coaching staff in College Station. Brown is a man among boys at the Class 2A level for the Eagles, where he played last season with 2008 Texas A&M signee Andrew Wolridge, at 6-foot-6 and 290-pounds. He will need to work on technique once he gets to college, but his size, strength, and nasty streak are intangibles that one can simply not coach and make him a sought after prospect. Brown currently holds offers from Arizona and Stanford.

The depth at offensive tackle only gets deeper with four players from the Class 3A ranks that are sleepers and are simply waiting to get a look. The group includes Columbus' LaAdrian Waddle, who looks imposing on film and has elite size at 6-foot-5, and 315-pounds. Add Llano's Andrew Ratliff to the mix of college caliber prospects as the 6-foot-5, 285-pounder is coming off of an all-State season for the Yellow Jackets. Giddings will be moving on during the 2008 season without quarterback Brock Fitzhenry, but the offensive line will be one of Central Texas' best with tackles Josh Roberson (6-5, 285) and Zach Berry (6-5, 280) paving the way.

Central Texas also has three prospects that project to play on the interior line in college.

With scouts flocking to Lexington to see Brown, Chase Dube has also seen his stock go up. Dube is a true masher who really gets after it at the point of attack and is projected as either a guard or center at the next level.

Like Dube, Waco LaVega's Darryl Curl is also on the radar with the noise around 2010 blue chip running back Chris Parr seemingly getting louder by the day. Copperas Cove's Arthur Mackey was an all-State pick last season for the Bulldawgs and will pave the way for Cove's running backs this fall.

Other offensive linemen in Central Texas that should receive college interest include Salado's Chance Stuckey, Florence's Tyler O'Dell, Austin McCallum's Colton Collins, Killeen Shoemaker's Jerry Henry, and Liberty Hill's Brandon Terry.

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