As we hit the preview portion of the 2023 FCS offseason, HERO Sports will rank the top returning players by position group.
While what happens on the field and how things finish at the end of the season is what really matters, preseason rankings give fans an idea of what players and teams they should keep an eye on.
Here are the top returning offensive linemen in 2023.
These rankings are formed by a combination of the author’s opinion/FCS knowledge (watching guys play, knowing what system they play in, strength of opponents, etc.), on-field production, pro potential, postseason accolades, how they perform against their toughest opponents, and PFF grades.
Best Returning FCS Offensive Linemen
25. Reese Moore, Abilene Christian
24. Lorenzo Thompson, Rhode Island
23. Torricelli Simpkins III, North Carolina Central
22. Jordan Ford, UC Davis
21. Tairiq Stewart, North Carolina A&T
20. Evan Roussel, Nicholls
19. Donny Ventrelli, North Dakota
18. JT Reed, Montana State
17. Pearson Toomey, Furman
16. Jaison Williams, Youngstown State
15. Hunter Mayginnes, Montana
14. Jackson Slater, Sacramento State
13. Ryan Coll, Richmond
12. Jalen Sundell, North Dakota State
11. Charles Grant, William & Mary
10. John Allen, Southeastern Louisiana University
9. Jacob Johanning, Furman
8. Zack Gieg, SEMO
7. Mike Edwards, Campbell
6. Noah Atagi, Weber State
The Top 5
5. Rush Reimer, Montana State
Reimer led a Montana State offensive line that plowed its way to No. 2 status in FCS rushing yards per game last year (311.9), trailing only the option attack of Davidson. The 6-foot-5, 309-pound left tackle was a major reason the new-look o-line found immediate success. Reimer’s PFF offensive grade was 74.5, while his run-blocking grade was 76.0. He earned HERO Sports Sophomore All-American, Stats Perform Third Team All-American, and Big Sky Conference Second Team accolades.
4. Nick Correia, Rhode Island
Correia is a behemoth of a human being at 6-foot-6 and 330 pounds. He has started every game at right guard for Rhody dating back to 2019. Correia is a back-to-back All-CAA selection, including 2022 First Team, and picked up All-American accolades last season. Correia was a standout on a talented 2022 offensive line that also featured Lorenzo Thompson (above) and Ajani Cornelius (2023 transfer to Oregon). Correia was especially strong in his pass-blocking, grading out at 77.7 on PFF.
3. Garret Greenfield, South Dakota State
For most of last season, it was expected that 2022 was the last year for Greenfield at SDSU. But he announced before the playoffs that he will return for a sixth season for the Jackrabbits in 2023. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound left tackle helps keep the subdivision’s best offensive line 100% intact from the 2022 national championship team. Greenfield’s strength is his pass-blocking, grading out at 80.4 last season on PFF. Greenfield is a three-year starter, a two-time All-MVFC First Team selection, and earned six different All-American accolades in the 2021 spring season and four different All-American honors in 2022.
2. Luke Newman, Holy Cross
Newman has the third-highest 2022 PFF grade for a returning FCS offensive tackle. His PFF offensive grade last season was 79.0 with a run-blocking grade of 80.6. The 6-foot-5, 301-pounder is a two-year starter for a physical Holy Cross offense, a two-time All-Patriot League First Team selection, a 2021 HERO Sports Sophomore All-American, and a multi-time All-American in 2022 (Stats Perform First Team, Associated Press Third Team, The Bluebloods Second Team).
1. Mason McCormick, South Dakota State
Like Greenfield above, McCormick also had a surprise announcement late last season that he is returning for a sixth year in 2023. The OL unit that helped SDSU win its first FCS title stays entirely intact, highlighted by its left side featuring McCormick at left guard and Greenfield at left tackle. McCormick sets the tone up front for the Jacks with his mauling style of play. McCormick was PFF’s second-highest-graded FCS offensive guard last season (81.2). The 6-foot-4, 305-pounder is a three-year starter, a three-time All-MVFC selection, and has earned All-American accolades three straight years.
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