Breaking It Down: West Offensive Line
Steve Schilling (
Steve Schilling (
Posted Dec 13, 2005

There's no strength in numbers here. With only five offensive linemen picked to play in the 2005 U.S. Army All-American game, it's clearly a case of quality over quantity. It's also clearly a case of the midwest showing just where the best linemen in the west happen to play, whether an interior lineman or a tackle out on the edge. With no further ado, here's a player-by-player look at each offensive lineman, with some analysis and some background included on each.

Bartley Webb - With tight end Ben Cleveland (Florida), receiver Damian Williams (Florida), receiver Andrew Norman (Arkansas), and's No. 1 quarterback in the country, Mitch Mustain - who just reopened his recruitment after decommitting from Arkansas - all playing alongside of Webb at Springdale, it's no wonder people from all over the country now know where this town of 50,000 just north of Fayetteville is. A really big left tackle who is a pass-blocking specialist, the 6-foot-6, 280-pound Webb has verbally committed to play football at Notre Dame. It might be hard for Mustain to resist the pull of playing with the guy that guards his blind spot at the next level. Webb plays snap to whistle and isn't afraid to plow someone in the dirt, especially on a designed quarterback run. He is a four-star prospect and rated as the 51st offensive lineman in America.

Chad Roark, a 6-foot-2, 285-pound interior lineman from Ada, Oklahoma is a three-star prospect and the 58th-rated offensive lineman for the class of 2006 by Watched his brother Craig play in the U.S. Army All-American game last year with the hopes of making it himself. Craig is playing for the Big Red of Nebraska, and now there will be a little bit of a rivalry going on in the Roark household, as Chad will be making Norman, Okla. his home for the next four or five years. "OU (Oklahoma) was a dream come true for me," Roark told Sooners Illustrated in October, just after he had changed his commitment from the Florida State Seminoled to the Sooners. Chad is also a mid-year graduate and a true center, something that is definitely a bit of an anomoly in the high school ranks. Roark does a nice job of keeping his feet and fighting defenders. Does not go down easily. He also neutralizes the line of scrimmage from the snap, and could be this year's version of Josh McNeil.

Steve Schilling - Schilling is the only west lineman that could actually be considered part of the west's normal geographic designation. From Bellevue, Wash., the 6-foot-5, 285-pound Schilling - ranked as the 2nd-best offensive lineman in America by behind behemoth Andre Smith - Schilling is prospect talented and cerebral enough to tackle all five positions across the board, and tough enough and physical enough to compete right away in college for playing time. Not many linemen have the motor Schilling - a two-way star for the Wolverines - has. It's not uncommon for Schilling to be leading ball-carriers 30 and 40-yards downfield in a personal, one-man convoy. Right now Michigan, California, USC and Washington are the teams looking to land Schilling. Don't expect him to pull a hat out in San Antonio - Steve's ultimate decision could come all the way down to the wire.

Ian Symonette - The only way to describe the 6-foot-9, 330-pound Symonette - from Saint Pius X High School in Houston, Tex., is manchild. While nearly every lineman that plays in the U.S. Army All-American game is the best lineman on their high school teams and could easily play backside tackle if needed, Symonette is just how the top college coaches would want the guy protecting their quarterback's blind side to be - huge, quick and relentless. And while most of the linemen playing in San Antonio have the technique to make the jump to college now and at least compete, Symonette might be the only on on the west team that might be able to take two steps forward just on potential alone. That's why Symonette, rated as the 4th-best offensive lineman in America by, is taking his time figuring out where he wants to go. Oklahoma, LSU and Miami look to have the inside track right now.

Chris Stewart - Juan Thomas, a designated hitter for the Tacoma (Wash.) Rainiers, is nicknamed 'The Large Human'. Sorry Juan, I just found 'The Larger Human'. Chris Stewart, a 6-foot-5, 365-pound offensive lineman from Klein, Tex., was bench-pressing 390 pounds as a junior in high school. There are some offensive linemen in college that can't do that. And with two basketball players as parents, Chris was given feet of gold. Put it all together in a big 'ol package and you have Stewart,'s 43rd-rated offensive lineman nationally and a four-star prospect. It's quite conceivable we could see an offensive line with Fighting Irish bookends come Saturday, January 6th, with Stewart on one side and Springdale, Arkansas' Bartley Webb on the other. Stewart verbally committed to Notre Dame in November over offers from schools like LSU and Texas A&M.

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DT Chad Roark (profile)
OL Steve Schilling (profile)
OL Chris Stewart (profile)
OL Ian Symonette (profile)
OL Bartley Webb (profile)
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