Scouting Report: UConn Class of 2017 O-Line

Dalton Gifford, Football Analyst
UConn Report

UConn Football has been trying to shore up its offensive line for a few years now. With a new coaching staff, the incoming talent will be key to making a turnaround complete.

Bob Diaco actually recruited three of the four offensive linemen who signed with the Huskies in 2017. Randy Edsall and his staff decided to maintain the offers for those three before adding a fourth in Florida's Robert Holmes.

I took a look at all four of these player's reels to determine whether positive reinforcements were on the way.

Offensive tackle

2 STARS

Connecticut
Indian Head

RR: 5.4

Ht: 6'6.0"

Wt: 305.0

Class: 2017

-

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

-

STATE

Commitment status:

signed

Connecticut

James Tunstall - 6’6, 305 - Indian Head, MD

Strengths

Tunstall is a strong addition to the UConn offensive line for the class of 2017. He comes in with ideal size for a college offensive lineman, with room to add a few pounds of muscle as well. His tape shows promising signs, as he likes to finish plays through the whistle. He has shown that he is comfortable playing out of a two or three point stance and is capable of pulling and making some open field blocks which could be useful in UConn’s new offense.

He is still rough around the edges and will need to work on footwork and staying low in order to be successful at the next level.


At UConn

Tunstall could have a solid career as a tackle but it wouldn't be surprising to see the coaches move him inside. His ability to block in space and tenacity finishing blocks makes him a versatile option who could be a valuable swing player early in his career before finding a starting spot on the line when his time comes.


Offensive tackle

2 STARS

Connecticut
Princeton

RR: 5.2

Ht: 6'7.0"

Wt: 260.0

Class: 2017

-

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

-

STATE

Commitment status:

signed

Connecticut


Ryan Van Demark - 6’7, 260 - Princeton, NJ

Strengths

Ryan Van Demark is a very tall and athletic incoming lineman for the Huskies. However, listed at only 260 pounds, he will need to put on significant weight in order to be ready to play in college. Similar to class of 2015 tackle Matthew Peart, once Van Demark gains some weight he will be a force on the line. He has shown the ability to play low and get under the pads of much shorter players as well as the desire to finish his blocks with the defender on the ground. After some weight gain and polish, he could be a strong answer at tackle.

At UConn

Van Demark will stay at tackle throughout his time at UConn. He has the length and athleticism to play against the speed rushers and after spending a redshirt season in the weight room, can handle the full scope of outside responsibilities. Like Peart, who became a starter as a redshirt freshman, he could get on the field relatively early in a position which will have a lot of competition.

Offensive guard

2 STARS

Connecticut
Washington

RR: 5.2

Ht: 6'3.0"

Wt: 305.0

Class: 2017

-

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

-

STATE

Commitment status:

signed

Connecticut

Stanley Hubbard - 6’3, 305 - Washington, DC

Strengths

Another lineman coming in with college size for the UConn Huskies, Hubbard is a great addition to the 2017 class. He is big and strong and seems to enjoy contact. He also shows impressive athleticism on his pulls and open field blocks. His pass protection is surprisingly polished for a high school player and will give him a solid foundation on which to build. He will need to make sure he plays low as his film shows a slight tendency to play too tall.

At UConn

I see Hubbard transitioning to the interior offensive line when he gets to UConn. At 6’3 he is a little undersized to play tackle and he has the perfect frame to be a solid road grading guard and possibly even a center. With a little coaching up on his technique, he could make an impact player on the inside.


Robert Holmes - 6’6, 335 - West Palm Beach, FL

Strengths

Holmes is the largest and highest ranked offensive lineman of this incoming class, measuring up at a massive 6’6 335. Holmes uses his size well and has shown the ability to throw a lot of momentum behind his blocks. Holmes also shows the ability to move well for his size along the line of scrimmage as a lead blocker or puller turning upfield.

His film shows a tenacity to destroy his defender and explosiveness at the point of contact. He will need to work on his finish and his technique and is still relatively raw. Holmes also might be one of the few incoming freshmen who could benefit from dropping down a few pounds. At the end of the day, though, he has tremendous upside and the size to excel for UConn.

At UConn

I see Holmes finding his home on the interior of the line. His sheer size and mass is ideal for a guard who is constantly going up against the big and strong nose tackles on most defenses. The opportunity to spend time in the strength and conditioning program will do wonders for Holmes, who could see playing time early. We can look forward to seeing this bruiser putting his size to good use for the Huskies in the foreseeable future.

Offensive guard

3 STARS

Connecticut
West Palm Beach

RR: 5.5

Ht: 6'6.0"

Wt: 335.0

Class: 2017

-

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

-

STATE

Commitment status:

signed

Connecticut

What to Read Next