Name: Garrett Greenlea
Position: Offensive line
Speed: 4.9 40-yard dash
High School: Klein Collins
Rating (Rivals): Four out of five (5.8)
The last offensive lineman to appear on the Texas radar, Greenlea quickly went from an unknown to an almost must-have because of his ability to play the tackle position with a nasty attitude and concerns that he could commit to Oklahoma if not offered by Texas. Most of the time, worrying about losing a player to another school isn't a strong reason to recruit them, but the pressing need at the position and Greenlea's ascent up the rankings made him a more than legitimate target.
Still not convinced? Check out his offer list. In a year in which the committed players had notably few offers, especially from major recruiting rivals like LSU and Oklahoma, Greenlea possesses one of the first impressive lists. And fortunately for Texas, Greenlea didn't mind waiting until JD2 to receive his offer -- some recruits take an invite to the JD2 as a bit of a slight because the top players in the state typically attend JD1 -- and committed on the spot to the Longhorns, despite his rumored strong interest in Oklahoma. Take that, Sooners.
On how he felt after making his commitment ($):
I am overjoyed and honored to have the opportunity that I have been presented with today and know that I have made the right choice,
On why he chose Texas over so many other offers:
Texas is a winning program. They win a lot of games. It's a place I could go beyond a college career. It's great school for education. I have family that lives close to Austin. Austin about 2 1/2 hours away from my house so it's close to home. It's just a great program overall.
On how much mail he got after choosing Texas ($):
I used to have a five inch thick stack of mail every week. Now maybe I get 10 letters since my commitment. I still get them at house, but not that many to the school. I sent cards to some of the other schools, told them I appreciate the opportunity and appreciate them recruiting me as hard as they did, but I'm a Texas boy and I can't leave Texas, I hope they understand that.
- Texas (committed 2/27/2010)
- North Carolina
- Notre Dame
- Oklahoma State
- Texas Tech
The positives from Jeff Howe ($):
There are two things that Greenlea oozes more than any true tackle prospect in the state in the class of 2011 – athleticism and aggressiveness.
For a big guy Greenlea gets around the field pretty effortlessly and is great when asked to pull and kick out, lead up in the hole or get out on the corner and block defenders one on one. He’s extremely agile and shows good flexibility in his hips and solid knee bend. In short – he’s not a slug by any means and is a very good athlete.
In terms of aggressiveness, fellow Texas commit Sedrick Flowers and Greenlea are in a league of their own in-state in this class. You hear the phrase all the time that once an offensive linemen gets his hands on you it’s over – but it really is the end of the play for Greenlea’s competition.
He looks to finish every play and has shown he can be a downright dominant drive blocker at the point of attack. Greenlea displays solid pad level despite being so tall and generates a good amount of leg drive and explosion on contact to really create a nice push off of the line of scrimmage on a consistent basis.
Greenlea is also a guy who takes pride in putting people into the ground. So much about playing offensive line is about want-to and Greenlea has plenty of it. It’s tough to find a combination of nastiness and athletic ability like the Longhorns have found in Greenlea.
Hand placement is also a big reason he’s such a tremendous lineman at the high school level. It seems like on every snap his hands are attacking the defender’s breast plate and he’s always in control at the point of attack.
When you consider all that Greenlea brings to the table, the thing that ties everything together is his frame. He’s a mountain of a man and is every bit of the 6-foot-7, 290 pounds he’s listed at and isn’t done growing. He looks like he could add some more muscle mass and could be around 310 pounds by the time he’s done filling out.
ESPN evaluation ($):
Greenlea has the height and athleticism we like to see for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition. His frame should allow him to add additional bulk over time. This is an aggressive, tough guy who appears to be more advanced as a run blocker at this stage of his development. Lines up in a three point stance most of the time with a flat back and quick first step; may be a little stiff in the lower foot / ankle area? Flashes the ability to knock defenders off the line of scrimmage; if he doesn't get immediate movement we see consistent effort necessary to get eventual movement. Can be punishing as an inside down and double team blocker. Has the initial quickness to be an effective backside reach blocker. Displays the balance and agility to come off single blocks and get to 2nd level defenders; can play on his feet in space. Demonstrates the ability to pull and get out in front of the bubble screen. Pass protection will be an area for growth and improvement; his ability to quick set shows promise however we do see a tendency to play a little too tall at times. Flashes the ability to bend, slide and play flat footed. Has good arm length and hand quickness but his initial punch, location and extension will need work. This player is consistently aggressive and tough. We like his finishing approach while always working to dominate the opponent. Greenlea has the physical attributes to become a very good offensive tackle at the next level of competition. This is a player who may see early playing time as he continues to grow and polish his skills.
- Height -- At between 6-6 and 6-7, Greenlea has prototypical size to play outside in college.
- Run blocking -- If run blocking is mostly about attitude and aggression, Greenlea has plenty of both, showing the motor to dominant opponents even if he doesn't win the battle initially. In high school, though, Greenlea won a lot of battles with alacrity.
- Athleticism -- For a player of his size, Greenlea moves well on his feet and is a threat to take out opposing player at the second level and in space on screen plays.
- Body composition -- Greenlea has little to no body fat, not always the case for high school linemen of his size.
- Flexibility -- Greenlea doesn't always look like a natural knee bender, a key for offensive linemen. It hurts his pad level at times and limits his explosiveness coming off the ball.
- Pass protection -- Like Flowers, Greenlea didn't gain much experience in pass protection in high school because of the offense his school ran.
- Technique -- Needs to work on being more violent and shooting his hands more consistently in both the running game and particularly in pass protection. Also could improve his hand placement.
Target Weight -- 315 pounds. With the exception of Taylor Doyle, all the offensive linemen in the 2011 class are lean and mean. Already at around 300 pounds, Greenlea needs only to add some strength and work to maintain his athleticism -- he doesn't need mass for the sake of mass, like Marcus Hutchins or Josh Cochran.
Greenlea was an important take in the class before the de-commitment of Christian Westerman and Westerman's decision made him almost invaluable as the only true tackle in the five-man class besides Josh Cochran. Had Greenlea decided to commit elsewhere, the offensive line class as a whole would be considered a serious disappointment because the tackle position is such an urgent and critical need for the future of the Harsinwhite offense.
Greenlea probably doesn't have the feet to play left tackle and still needs quite a bit of work on his pass protection before he can contribute in college, as Klein Collins was a run-based offense. Besides his ability to protect the quarterback, the other concern about Greenlea is the ACL tear that he suffered at the beginning of his senior season. It's not a concern in terms of recovering, as such procedures are now routine, but it is a concern in terms of lost repetitions and in terms of his overall conditioning. There aren't any recent pictures of Greenlea, so it's hard to tell if he maintained his weight while rehabbing his knee. The good news is that he should be recovered enough to work out with his teammates when he enrolls in June.
Along with Flowers and Cochran, Greenlea should form the nucleus of an offensive line down the road for Texas that has a much nastier disposition in the running game, a fantastic fit considering that Bryan Harsin is a proponent of a new-school power-running game that should feature their strengths. With Greenlea's frame, strength, and ability to move, he should be effective in both man and zone-blocking schemes, giving Harsin and Applewhite plenty of schematic flexibility as the offense moves forward.
Impact ETA: 2013. His ACL injury and inability to enroll early will set Greenlea back a bit and he probably won't step onto campus and contribute early as was expected for some time after his commitment. More likely is that he spends a redshirt season refining his pass protection, play some as a back-up in 2012 and becomes a major contributor in 2013 as a starter.