By John Swofford, Recruiting Writer
Almost every close football game is somehow won at the line of scrimmage. Either with giving the quarterback time to pass, or opening up a hole for the running back to clear some yards, the offensive line has a hand in deciding pivotal plays on every down. Two perfect examples of both sides of the coin were in this years Rose Bowl. 4th and 2. USC's O-line failed. 4th and 5. Texas' O-line succeeded.
J'Marcus Webb had many choices to make when deciding to which school he should lend his talents. Somewhere between 15 and 20 offers - he lost count of just how many he had received. But shortly after committing to Texas, all but 1 school stopped contacting him: Texas A&M, of course. With Webb's official signing yesterday, J'Marcus becomes another top recruit in what was an already stellar class for Texas.
In high school J'Marcus was able to tower over defenders. At 6'8", 270 lbs., he looked like he was playing against the Disney studios animation flag football team. His large stature and wide reach allowed him to dominate lesser players. Which is what made him such a sought-after recruit. He has the size, speed and technique to start on 110 of the 117 Div. 1A colleges in the country. But Texas is one of the other 7. There are a few question marks that must be answered for J'Marcus before he becomes the dominant player he has the potential to become. At his height, 285 (his current weight) is probably too small. That won't pose too much of a problem for Coach Mad Dog, but it could take some time to get it where they want. After switching from tight end to offensive lineman, Webb allowed one sack all of his senior year. One! The only question about his blocking is his run-blocking ability. With a little time, he'll be a very solid performer.
With the depth Texas has at offensive line, it's possible that J'Marcus will red-shirt his freshman year. If he doesn't, he will see some playing time, but not as much as he hopes for. The defensive ends at the college level are much more tenacious than any of the 7 dwarfs he lined up against in the annual "Starving cartoon charity flag football tournament" that he was in all last year.
He'll need the weight that Mad Dog will put on him, and he'll need the time to develop his run blocking ability. Some are already comparing him to recently departed Jonathan Scott. That's a likely comparison for his size and projected ability.
If J'Marcus Webb plays his freshman year instead of red-shirting, we will see a great player. He probably won't start, but could work his way into the usual rotation by the end of the year. This kid has the potential to be one of the greatest O-linemen to step on campus by the time he leaves.