Mississippi Gridiron identifies the top ten high school offensive linemen as we enter the 2011 season. This ranking is based on several factors and conversations with high school coaches and recruiting professionals, with consideration to a player’s potential but an emphasis on on-the-field production in high school. The list of great players in this state is a long one and some may be left off, but this will get the conversation started as we identify the best players in Mississippi.
This list is part of a series of positional rankings, which will be released daily over the next two weeks.
1. Cordarrly Gaines (OT, 6-6, 350, SR) Provine
Gaines, a Mississippi Gridiron All-State selection, is being courted by a number of Division I schools. Gaines was selected as a Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen in July.
2. Devon Desper (C/OG, 6-5, 295, SR) Madison Central
Desper, a Mississippi Gridiron All-State selection, is a Mississippi State commit. The Madison Central product is rated as the 16th best center in the class of 2012 by Scout.com
3. Deon Mix (OT, 6-5, 305, JR) South Panola
Mix, just a junior, helped the South Panola Tigers to a National Championship as a junior. He is a 2nd Team All-State selection and a First Team All-6A selection by Mississippi Gridiron. Mix will be among the top prospects in Mississippi for the class of 2013.
4. Avery Gennesy (OT, 6-4, 291, SR) Southaven
After an impressive camp/combine season, Gennesy emerged as one of the top offensive line prospects in the class of 2012. He is a Second Team All-State selection and a First-Team All-6A selection by Mississippi Gridiron.
5. Cole Carter (OT, 6-6, 270, SR) Caledonia
Carter currently plays tight end and offensive line for Caledonia, but the Mississippi State commit is one of the top offensive linemen in the class of 2012. Carter is a First Team All-4A selection by Mississippi Gridiron.
6. Norman Price (OT, 6-5, 290, SR) Vicksburg
Price was the only underclassman named to the coaches’ All-6A Team a year ago and enters 2011 as a First-Team All-State selection by Mississippi Gridiron.
7. Kel Thurmon (OT, 6-6, 330, SR) Raleigh
Thurmon could end up playing on the offensive or defensive front in college. The 6-6, 330-pound prospect favors the defensive side of the ball, but landed himself on Mississippi Gridiron’s All-State team as an offensive lineman.
8. Taylor Bourne (OT, 6-6, 310, SR) St. Stanislaus
Bourne helped the Rockachaws to a 4A State Title as a sophomore in 2009 and heads into his senior season as one of the state’s top offensive linemen. Bourne is a Second Team All-State selection and a First-Team All-4A selection by Mississippi Gridiron
9. Kirby Wixson (C, 6-3, 320, SR) Pearl
Wixon is a First-Team All-State and a First-Team All-5A selection by Mississippi Gridiron. The Pearl product enters the 2011 campaign as one of the state’s top center prospects.
10. Jocquell Johnson (OT, 6-6, 285 SR) Callaway
Johnson follows fellow Callaway offensive linemen Justin Bell and Aaron Morris, who were both All-State selections by Mississippi Gridiron last season. Johnson is a Second Team All-State selection and a First-Team All-5A selection heading into his senior season.
Best of the Rest
Tony Holmes (6-3, 330, SR) Oak Grove, Skyler McVey (6-3, 330) Sumrall, Deandre Greer (6-0, 270, SR) Lafayette,Deion Simpson (6’3, 275, SR) Moss Point, Brandon Farmer (6-3, 295, SR) Harrison Central, Tabarrius Coffey (6-4, 325, SR) Calhoun City, Travorius Love (6’3, 280, SR) Charleston
Rodrick Taylor (OT, 6-4, 285, SO) Callaway
It didn’t take long for Taylor’s name to get out in coaching circles. Entering his sophomore season, he has already attracted scholarship offers from major college programs and his size and athleticism has drawn high praise from coaches in the Jackson area. He has the potential to be a national prospect as a senior.
Brett Whitman (OT, 6-4, 290, SR) Petal
Whitman is a transfer from Georgia, and exactly what Petal needed with the graduation of their entire offensive line from last season. Whitman is an unknown in the state, but his size is a welcome addition to the Panthers’ roster.
Davian Johnson (OT, 6-4, 325, JR) Byhalia
Johnson has made a name for himself with his workouts in camps and enters his junior season as a player college coaches will have an eye on for the class of 2013.