The final 2023 rankings are being released throughout the week, and with Wednesday’s release comes the final offensive position rankings of the cycle. The Rivals staff takes a look at which trench bullies up front are best fit for their future programs.
ALEX BIRCHMEIER TO PENN STATE
“Penn State coach James Franklin told a story during the Early Signing Period that Alex Birchmeier‘s parents told him they didn’t need to come down and do the song-and-dance in recruiting. The high four-star offensive lineman who’s tough, physical and plays with a mean streak was locked in with the Nittany Lions while he certainly appreciated the recruiting attention he didn’t need it.
“That kind of kid and mentality seems like a perfect fit for what Franklin, offensive line coach Phil Trautwein and the entire staff is looking for out of offensive linemen in Happy Valley. Birchmeier unfortunately skipped the all-star events, but he would’ve likely been in higher consideration for a five-star ranking because he’s a really talented player.” – Adam Gorney
“Birchmeier will fit in extremely well at Penn State. He’s an excellent run blocker and has the technique and athleticism to be a dominant pass blocker as well. Not many on the analyst staff have seen Birchmeier work in person, but if they did they would have a lot of confidence in his ability to make an early impact at the college level.
“A state champion wrestler, Birchmeier knows how to use his leverage to maximize his abilities, and he’s already got the strength to throw around college defensive linemen.” – Adam Friedman
KADYN PROCTOR TO ALABAMA
“It may be cliche to name the nation’s top offensive lineman as the best fit for his school, but Kadyn Proctor is the type of physical and athletic specimen the Tide need on their line to regain championship form. Additionally, the depth chart looks favorable for Proctor to compete for early playing time, and if given an opportunity he will likely thrive early on in his career.” – Clint Cosgrove
SAMSON OKUNLOLA TO MIAMI
“When they were at Oregon, Mario Cristobal and offensive line coach Alex Mirabal made a living off of developing big offensive tackles that had a big athletic profile, and if they are to find success in the ACC they will have to find similar prospects with similar profiles. Samson Okunlola will be the first major contender to be the next Penei Sewell in the Mirabal line of offensive tackles, as he takes his 6-foot-5, 300-pound body to the field and is able to maintain elite athleticism with the most agile edge rushers.
“His strength and ability fits what Mirabal has been able to develop in the past, and it feels like a perfect marriage for the two parties to achieve what they need in Coral Gables.” – Nick Harris
FRANCIS MAUIGOA TO MIAMI
“As Miami head coach Mario Cristobal continues to work over the Hurricanes’ roster in his image, landing a player like Francis Mauigoa is an ideal piece to help with the turnaround. Cristobal was a two-time national champion and an All-Big East selection at offensive tackle with Miami in 1992. The Canes’ leader has spent his coaching career putting an emphasis on the offensive line, and he wants nasty trench hogs leading his teams.
“In Mauigoa, Cristobal has that tone-setter up front that will get the push on key third downs and in the fourth quarter to help Miami try to get back on top in the ACC.” – Ryan Wright