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Meet the Freshmen: OL Shamire DeVine

Our "Meet the Freshmen" series continues today with the highly-touted big man out of Tri Cities.

Big 7-1 is big.
Big 7-1 is big.

A few years ago, Paul Johnson's spread option offense was struggling, in part due to its undersized offensive line that was built valuing quickness over brute force. That highly-valued quickness meant that our guys were going up against opponents much larger than they, who could easily use their size to overpower our players (regardless of whether our players tried to cut block them or use any other shifty maneuver). Realizing this, the last couple of years have seen Coach Johnson recruit larger offensive linemen who will have fewer issues against big, strong, athletic defensive linemen (for example -- Shaq Mason is 6'1", 305, Errin Joe is 6'3", 305, and Bryan Chamberlain is 6'4", 295).

That change in philosophy was most apparent in Johnson's recruiting and signing of Shamire DeVine, who stands at a towering 6'6", and tips the scales at 350 pounds. Not only does DeVine have size, but he's something of a "total package" offensive lineman who was considered a top-20 guy in the country at his position in high school. DeVine has great foot speed, allowing him to block defensive ends coming on a speed rush when playing offensive tackle, and the brute strength to both run and pass block when playing the guard position (where he's projected to play at Tech). He also uses his hands very effectively, and on top of all of this is a very intelligent player.

The downside to DeVine is obvious -- nobody carries over 350 pounds of pure "good" weight. He obviously has room to lose a few pounds that will allow him to move a little quicker and play for longer stretches of time. However, I fully expect a college-level strength and conditioning program to assist him in this -- it'll just be up to him to resist those late-night Checkers runs. (Trust me, I get it. 2 for $4 Big Chicken sandwiches are delicious, but they don't make you run any faster.)

Does DeVine see the field this fall, or do we have enough talent currently to keep him on the sidelines the entire time? Do you think DeVine can turn himself into a major NFL O-Line prospect by graduation?