Notes: Also threw the discus as a New Jersey prep. Turned down a Division I-AA scholarship offer to walk on at Rutgers and redshirted in 2006. Appeared in 10 games in '07 - was a reserve lineman, changing his jersey number to No. 84 midway through the season when he was used as a blocking tight end. Earned a scholarship in '08 when he played all 13 games, starting three at left guard, and saw action inside and outside. Started 10-of-13 games in '09 - the first two games at left guard and the final eight at right guard. Hurt his left knee during '10 spring practice but started all 12 games at center in the fall. Team captain.
Positives: Outstanding size. Can be effective in pass protection when his feet are underneath him. Leans on defenders to open creases. Works to reach the second level. Aggressive playing temperament. Smart, durable and versatile - has played center, guard and tackle and made a relatively smooth transition to full-time center duties. Very tough and highly respected by teammates and coaches.
Negatives: Not a natural bender. Needs to learn to sink his hips and anchor. Spends too much time on the ground. Plays short-armed. Inconsistent sustain - struggles to control defenders with his hands. Average quickness and mobility. Struggles to square up moving targets. Could stand to generate more power from his lower body - does not fire off the snap and move defenders off the line.
Summary: Self-made former walk-on and effective short-area, wall-off blocker who needs to improve his technique and functional strength but could back up three interior spots.