LSJ All-Decade Team: Football offensive linemen

All of these previously-mentioned offensive stars didn't put up big numbers by themselves. Here's a look at the guys who made much of that possible. 

Remember, check out the links at the bottom to join the discussions on our first few football posts — quarterbacks, running backs and receivers/tight ends. We'll return this weekend with another listing. 

Lots of strong offensive linemen to consider, so here goes …

My starters (so far): Paul Jorgensen, DeWitt (2010, Northwestern); Bridger Buche, Portland (2007, Eastern Michigan); Blake Botek, Grand Ledge (2004, Oklahoma State); Matt Armstrong, Sexton (2008, Grand Valley State); Stephen Johnson, Holt (2006, EMU).

Other finalists: Micajah Reynolds, Sexton (2009, Michigan State); Bryant Schmitt, Pewamo-Westphalia (2009, Grand Rapids Community College); Austin Holtz, Holt (2008, Ball State); Tyler Holtz, Holt (2005, Grand Valley State); Justin Hartig, Charlotte (2003, Ball State).

Best of the rest: Jordan Rahme, Fulton (2008); Adam Rainbolt, Haslett (2007); Ross Addison, Fowlerville (2007, GVSU); DeShon Dedrick, Sexton (2006); Ricki Saenz, DeWitt (2005); Gavin Acton, Charlotte (2005, Findlay); Mark Andrew, Waverly (2004, MSU); Adam Barr, Holt (2003, Olivet College); Vic Preston, Grand Ledge (2001); David Rudd Ross, Okemos (2001); David Schoonover, DeWitt (2001, Michigan). 

A few things to keep in mind here: This is a measure of performance in high school, not beyond, and often the best offensive linemen at the college level were tight ends in high school (see Sexton's Sam Allen, who went to GVSU and then to camp with the Bills). Also, some of the names you might be looking for will be part of my defensive linemen group instead. 

I think it's really tough to argue with my top five so far. Reynolds could definitely be swapped into that group, although I think Armstrong scared people more at the high school level at least. Similarly, Austin Holtz could be on instead of Johnson, but I'll let you figure those out. Jorgensen was the LSJ Defensive Player of the Year this fall, but was the best lineman on either side of the ball.

This one is certainly the toughest to measure since there really aren't stats to help — I just tried to remember what coaches said over the years, and what I remember seeing. But I'm sure there are plenty of others we can add to the list. 

Other All-Decade football posts:


Running backs

Receivers/tight ends

About Geoff Kimmerly

Geoff Kimmerly was the Prep Sports reporter at the Lansing State Journal until September 23, 2011. Read his thoughts and thanks for his 14 seasons with the Lansing State Journal. 1,000 Thanks
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14 Responses to LSJ All-Decade Team: Football offensive linemen

  1. caacfan says:

    Something to think about with Austin Holtz is that he played every position on the o-line in his career except center.

  2. Brian Holtz says:

    Steve Johnson, Austin Holtz, Tyler Holtz and Adam Barr the one thing they all have in common is Jack Rarick, arguably the best o-line coach in he area. Thanks Jack!

  3. RednBlack says:

    I’m not so sure Micajah Reynolds deserves to be on the finalist list. He lost the DeWitt/Sexton playoff game for his team his senior year when he cheapshotted a very little Dewitt def back during a touchdown run that would have put the game away for the Big Reds. The hit took place at least 30 yds behind the ballcarrier. After the play was called back the rest of the game was history. He was physically so big that he easily should have been much more of a force than he was. I saw him play in person 4 times and on film several times, he never showed much hussle or leadership. People try to compare him to DJ Young. I feel that there is no comparison. DJ always gave 100%. The other poster is right about Coach Rarick. He always has lots of talent to work with, but he does get the most out of his kids.

  4. Pat says:

    I agree with your assessment of “performance in high school, not beyond” however Michael Bacon (2004) of Lansing Catholic excelled on both sides of the ball while in high school. Mark Andrews and he were the top two lineman in the area according to the LSJ at the start of the 2003 season. He walked on at MSU and later became a starter for much of his junior and senior year.

  5. I got a state champ and B10 ring says:

    Please folks Lansing linemen like players at other positions and in other sports benefit from the lack of numbers going out for the sports. No offense to Bacon. I’m still waiting for him to block someone obn film. (From a person who blocked on a line that won the B10)The schools never played one another Holt/DeWitt never. Dewill/GL never. The thing that is disappointing is linemen no longer can run. It’s high school. Get down field and make blocks. I guess I’m old fashion.

  6. StAugustineSpartan says:

    watching Spartan Women against IU, and the BT “color” commentary just used the word SPUNK. that’s what I want to be called as an athlete, SPUNKY. GEEZ, the 4 letter network is anti BT and the BTN is awful,

  7. TMizzle says:

    A few names that come to mind that you left out that should be given some serious consideration.
    1.) Chris Patrick – Ithaca (Nebraska). Patrick went to camp with a few NFL teams and spent time on the Lions practice squad.
    2.) Chris Stoddard – Carson City Crystal (Grand Valley State). Stoddard attended GVSU with his twin brother Greg, as the two were part of CC-C’s only playoff run in 1999. Stoddard started for the Lakers at tackle, winning 3 national titles in 5 years.
    3.) Joe Patrick – Ithaca (Michigan State). The older brother of Chris had a stellar prep career before heading to MSU, where he was a starter at guard. Patrick had his career cut short due to injuries, but was one of the top lineman to ever come out of the area.

  8. fan says:

    Michael Bacon should be on the list.

  9. sexton0line says:

    No question Armstrong belongs on this team. He played against powerhouse teams like Holt, Grand Ledge, and the 2008 Marine City state champsions and helped lead the Big Reds rushing attack that included the Great 8 Winning running back of the state Brandon Dunn in 2006. His own teammates voted him their most valuable player and team captain two years in a row. There is no comparison between Armstrong and Reynolds. Armstrong always gave 100% when he was on the field (which was all game as he was also a Great 8 finalist for defensive lineman of the year in 2008 as well as making first team all state as an offensive lineman.)

  10. RednBlack says:

    I agree with sextonOline. Armstrong always gave it all he had on every snap.

  11. Brian says:

    When talking about Holt lineman dont forget Curtis Ferguson who started every game as a red shirt freshman at Wayne State. Wayne State had one of the top running backs in the Nation. We all know you have to have a good line for that to happen.

  12. Comet Rent says:

    I understand this was high school but Adam Barr from Holt backed up Ron Tyner from Grand Ledge all 3 years they played at Olivet together, and the were both class of 2003. It makes no sense that one would all of a sudden just get better than the other in college. So I think you missed a player on that list.

  13. BotekGL says:

    I feel honored to even be considered for this list (Blake Botek). I would have to consider the rivalry between Grand Ledge and Holt one that I can remember hearing about all the time while I was growing up. Both the schools run similar offenses so the zone blocking scheme is almost exactly the same between the schools. Out of all the people I went against in high school I would have to say that the meanest guy was Adam Barr from Holt. We had a war with each other during the championship game at Holt my junior year. All week all I heard about was Adam Barr. I will never forget that name. We tried to kill each other all night and I ended up breaking the welds on my facemask because the guy hit so hard. At the end of the game on the last play we went all out and just fought at the line of scrimmage for the entire play. We ended up hugging after the play and we each knew that we gave ultimate respect to one another. So I would have to say that Adam Barr would be the toughest defensive lineman I ever went against in my 3 years of starting on varsity at Grand Ledge…

  14. buy viagra says:

    what great list of offensives dude!!!
    guee you missed some guys, but that list is awesome!!!!

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