Size Matters: College Football’s Biggest Offensive Linemen of 2022

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Syracuse at FSU 2021

I have performed this drill better than 25 years, tabulating the average size of starting offensive linemen in the FBS. Despite the massive girth of so many of the current “big uglies” in college football, my findings may surprise you.

The numbers have increased incrementally almost every year, sometimes less than a pound average from one season to the next. In 2014, the average starter on the offensive line for a FBS squad was 6’4.3″ tall and 302.1 pounds per starter nationwide. Last fall, the weight number jumped to 308.9 pounds per man.

Due to shrinkage, tightening the waist line, global warning, whatever you want to blame it on, this year’s average dropped to 6’4.4″ tall (a slight movement in height) but 304.2 pounds. per starter. That is a drop of over four pounds in just one year. It’s clearly a significant statistical move.

So let’s begin with the heftiest teams in college football (per average starter) for 2022:

1. Syracuse 6’5.2″, 337.7
2. LSU 6’5.2″, 325.2
3. South Alabama. 6’3.8″, 324.6
4. UTSA 6’3.4 tall”, 324.4
5. Missouri. 6’5.4″, 324.2
6. TCU 6’5.6″, 323.6
7. Southern Miss. 6’3.6″, 323.2
8. Kentucky 6’5.6″, 322.8
9. Arizona 6’4.6″, 322
10. Texas A&M 6’5.6″, 321
11. East Carolina 6’4.2″, 320.6
12. Tennessee 6’4.2″, 320.4
13. Minnesota
(tie) San Diego State 6’5″, 320
14. Auburn 6’5.4″, 319.2
15. Miami 6’3″, 319

How do the conferences stack up according to size?
SEC 6’5.2″, 316.3 lbs
Big Ten 6’5.2″, 312.9
ACC 6’4.2″, 312.3
PAC 12 6’4.6″, 310.4
Big 12 6’4.8″, 309.4
CUSA 6’3.8″, 307.4
Mountain West 6’4″, 305.9
Sun Belt 6’3.9″, 305.6
AAC 6’4.3″, 305.3
Independent 6’4.5″, 304.5
MAC 6’4.8″, 303.9

Does the size factor correlate to success? Decide for yourself. Two of the top 20 averaged below 6’4.4″ tall and 304.2 pounds:

1. Alabama 6’4.2″, 311.6 lbs.
2. Ohio State 6’5″, 317
3. Georgia. 6’4.6″, 312
4. Clemson 6’3.6″, 310
5. Michigan 6’5.2″, 313.6
6. Notre Dame 6’6.2″, 309.6
7. Utah 6’4.2″, 310
8. Texas A&M 6’5.6″, 321
9. Pittsburgh 6’4.2″, 315
10. Miami 6’3″, 319
11. Tennessee 6’4.2″, 320.4
12. Wisconsin 6’5.6″, 311.4
13. BYU 6’5.8″, 310.8
14. North Carolina St. 6’3.8″, 317
15. Oklahoma (below average) 6’4.4″, 303.6
16. Oregon 6’4.4″, 315.6
17. Iowa (way below) 6’5.6. 292.8
18. Penn State 6’4.8″, 313.4
19. Auburn 6’5.2″, 319.2
20. Mississippi State 6’5.6″, 317

If you were wondering how the Louisiana college programs rate according to size
LSU 6’5.2″, 325.2 lbs.
Tulane 6’4.2″, 306.8
LA Tech 6’2.8″, 301. 4
ULL 6’3.6″, 300.6
ULM 6’4.2″, 300.4

Let’s look a Louisiana widest loads, the biggest individual linemen among state FBS schools:
ULL’s Mackey Mailho, freshman, 6’7″, 370 lbs.
LSU’s Anthony Bradford, sophomore, 6’5″, 365
LSU’s Tre’Mond Shorts, senior, 6’5″, 340
LSU Kardell Thomas, sophomore, 6’4″, 345
Tulane’s Prince Pines, junior, 6’4″, 340
ULM’s Chase Rodriguez, freshman, 6’0″, 338
ULL’s Bryant Williams, freshman,, 6’7″, 326
ULM’s Stacy Wilkins, sophomore, 6’5″, 326
Tulane’s Keanon McNally, freshman, 6’9″, 300

Now let’s look at college football’s all HUMONGOUS squad, the smallest among these is still mammoth:
Charlotte LG Michael Staham, redshirt freshman 6’7″, 407 lbs.
Oregon State DT Thomas Sio, Soph. 6’3″, 365
Arkansas OL E’Marion Harris, Fr., 6’7″, 362
Ole Miss OL Jordan Rhodes, Sr., 6’6365,
LSU OL Anthony Bradford, Soph. 6’5″, 365
Arkansas OL Devon Manuel, Fr., 6’9″, 366
Alabama DT Jaheim Oatis, Fr., 6’5″, 370
ULL OL Mackey Mailho, Fr., 6’7″, 370
Oregon OT Faaop Lalolu, Soph., 6’6″, 380
Syracuse OL Kalan Ellis, Soph., 6’6″, 388
USC OL Maximus Gibbs, Soph., 6’7″, 390

and the HEAVYWEIGHT champion…Florida NT Desmond Watson, Soph., 6’5″, 439
(Note: Never before have I ever had two players exceeding 400 pounds on this list.)

Which teams made the biggest jump and which dropped the most weight per man since 2021?

– UTSA added 17 lbs., Minnesota added 16 lbs., East Carolina increased 14 lbs. per starter but Missouri made the biggest increase adding 22 lbs. per man across the front.
– Oklahoma, known for their size up front over the years, has dropped 19 lbs. per starter. ULM shaved off 13, Tulsa sweated off 12, Ole Miss is 11 lighter and Michigan lost 10 lbs. per blocker from 2021.

Which programs feel like size doesn’t matetr? You know service academies will be in this number:
– Army averages 6’3″, 282, San Jose State 6’4″, 288.2, Air Force 6’3.6″, 289, Bowling Green 6’3.4″, 291, Central Michigan 6’4.6″, 292.6 and Memphis 6’3.8:”, 295 lbs.

Faster is better in some offensive schemes, including the traditional option attacks but also some uptempo spread teams.

And if you were wondering who are the flyweights of college football, here are the smallest listed FBS offensive linemen (again, thank you for your “service”):

Navy center Dave Hixon, 6’3″, 250
Army RT Simon Dellinger, 6’4″, 270
Air Force LT Everett Smalley, 6’3, 265

Oh, and just for kicks…er, kickers:
Akron PK Niko Paxos, 5’11”, 135
Georgia Southern PK Chase Fulser, 5’11”, 135.

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Rene Nadeau

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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…

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