Giant Offensive Tackle Commit Offers Giant Potential
Football is a sport of big men, but NU just landed a commitment from player that makes your typical offensive tackles look short. David Knevel is listed as 6'8" or 6'9" depending upon where you look. That puts him in the territory of NFL greats like 11-time pro-bowler Jonathan Ogden and Dallas Cowboy legend Ed "Too Tall" Jones. Certainly, not every player that tall has a career like Ogden or Jones, but the potential exists to be very special.
Nebraska is not the only school to take notice of Knevel's unique advantage. Despite growing up in Canada, he still held offers from defending national champion Alabama, Big Ten champion Wisconsin and several other schools. You can't coach height after all. His frame might allow him to climb into the 330 to 350-pound range. 247Sports lists him as a four-star prospect.
As an offensive tackle, the range offered by such a long wingspan (his arms are nearly 3-feel long) allows him to be an outstanding pass protector. Were he to consider defense he could be a nightmare for opposing offenses. In fact, he could be the answer to NU's difficulty with dual-threat quarterbacks. It's very difficult to get outside a player that can reach three feet laterally. It's also difficult to throw over a player who's nearly ten feet tall with his arms extended.
Both because of his Canadian upbringing and the challenge that all tall linemen have with leverage and pad level, you expect that Knevel could be a project. Like most linemen, you'd also expect him to need to add strength and weight (he's listed between 285 and 305 lbs.) But if he's a quick study he could see playing time early. He's set to arrive on campus in January, allowing him a spring practice to learn the offense. You could also see him contributing on special teams right away swatting down field goals, punts, and extra points.
You have to wonder whether Husker basketball coach Tim Miles has taken notice of Knevel as well. A player that big would help any college team even if he's just collecting rebounds, blocking shots, and setting screens.
In any case, Knevel is a quality addition to the 2013 recruiting class. It sounds as though academics may have played into his choice of Nebraska so don't be surprised to see him on some future Academic All-Conference or All-American teams. The Huskers are a year away from losing the top four two-deep players at offensive tackle so his commitment is also timely. Replacing them seemed like a tall order, but in this case not too tall.