The rankings give fans an idea of what teams they should keep an eye on. But let’s put a player-focus spin on Top 25 szn. In this summer series, we’ll rank the Top 25 returning players at every position.
Next up are the offensive linemen.
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Best Returning OL
25. Taylor Tuiasosopo, Montana State
24. Cole Strange, Chattanooga
23. Bucky Williams, Austin Peay
22. Tim Coleman, Richmond
21. Conlan Beaver, Montana
20. Tylan Grable, Jacksonville State
19. Tristen Taylor, Eastern Washington
18. Tre’mond Shorts, ETSU
17. Kyle Nunez, Stony Brook
16. Blake Mitchell, Chattanooga
15. AJ Farris, Monmouth
14. Keenan Forbes, Florida A&M
13. Lewis Kidd, Montana State
12. J’Von Brown, Central Connecticut
11. Colby Thomas, Sam Houston
10. David Kroll, Delaware
9. Ty Whitworth, Weber State
8. Garret Greenfield, South Dakota State
7. Matt Waletzko, North Dakota
6. PJ Burkhalter, Nicholls
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The Top 5
5. Mason McCormick, South Dakota State
The Jackrabbits had a stellar rushing attack in the spring en route to the national championship game. At left guard was McCormick, arguably the top overall big man for SDSU. McCormick, who is 6-foot-4 and 310 pounds, was named a HERO Sports Sophomore All-American along with right tackle Garret Greenfield. He was also named to the HERO Sports All-FCS team and added All-MVFC Second Team honors.
4. Braxton Jones, Southern Utah
At 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds, Draft Scout ranks Jones as the No. 2 pro prospect for senior FCS offensive tackles. A 2019 HERO Sports Sophomore All-American, Jones garnered more national honors this spring with an All-American nod from Phil Steele. Some scouting services describe him as one of the most athletic tackles in all of college football.
3. Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa
Penning is Draft Scout’s top prospect for senior FCS offensive tackles. At 6-foot-7 and 321 pounds, he impresses pro scouts with his combination of power and movement out in space. He looks to be the second UNI offensive tackle to be drafted in two years after Spencer Brown was selected in the third round (No. 93 overall) by Buffalo in the 2021 NFL Draft.
2. Liam Fornadel, James Madison
In 2018, Fornadel started all 13 games at right tackle and earned All-CAA Second Team and HERO Sports Sophomore All-American honors. Starting another 16 games at right tackle the next season, Fornadel was named to HERO Sports’ and three other All-American First Teams along with an All-CAA First Team selection. He earned several preseason All-American honors heading into the 2020-21 season before sitting out with a shoulder injury two games in.
1. Cordell Volson, North Dakota State
A 2019 HERO Sports Second Team All-American after starting all 16 games at RT, Volson started at LT, RT, and RG in the spring as the Bison battled injuries up front and tried to find the best starting unit available. The 6-foot-7, 310-pounder was named the best offensive lineman in the subdivision by the FCS Athletic Directors Association, and he also earned All-American honors from HERO Sports, Stats Perform, Athlon Sports, and Phil Steele.