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February 27, 2013- -
Auburn offensive line coach J.B. Grimes has 30 years of college coaching experience. He coached Gus Malzahn's offensive line at Arkansas State in 2012, and his familiarity with exactly what type offensive lineman Malzahn covets in his up-tempo offense is critical.
Grimes breaks down how he evaluates tackles, guard and centers during recruiting, and his and Malzahn's demands of an offensive lineman attempting to succeed in their system.
GRIMES ON HOW HE EVALUATES POTENTIAL LINEMEN: On a general level, what you would like to find is tackles that are 6'5 or better, guards that are 6'3 or better, and centers that are 6'1 or better. There are exceptions to every rule. I had a guy at Virginia Tech that ended up being an Outland finalist, Lombardi finalist, he was a 6-foot and a half center. But you try and place those parameters.
Another you look at is big tight ends -- big, strong tight ends that knock people off the football. I've had a lot of luck over the years in coaching guys that played tight end in high school and went on and were NFL offensive lineman.
Another you look at in recruiting is long, tall defensive linemen. Guys that are athletic. It doesn't matter what position you play -- you have to be able to run, and run fast. That's also true on the offensive line.
GRIMES ON EXPECTATIONS OF AN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN IN MALZAHN'S SYSTEM: You have to be able to play fast, so you have to get in shape. In this offense, there isn't, and I'm going to politically correct, there's not a place for overweight players. They have a hard time being able to keep up with the pace that you're looking for, for what Coach Malzahn wants and the way we play. A lot of that is the demand for not only during the play, you want to play fast during the play -- you want to give great effort, but it's the demand between plays that Coach Malzahn has unlike any coach I've worked for. It's the demand to get back to the line of scrimmage. We determine when we want to snap that ball.