Best players by position: Offensive line filled with Division I talent

Size doesn’t define a quality offensive lineman, but extraordinary height and weight doesn’t hurt. These 10 Georgia Power 100 pancake chefs average 6 feet, 5 inches and 312 pounds. They top out at 6-7 Bo Hughley and 365-pound Zechariah Owens. All are major Division I prospects who have proven themselves as high school players.

This is one in a series of feature articles that recognize the state’s best players by position. They are chosen primarily on high school production, though college potential also is considered. They are the members of GHSF Daily’s Georgia Power 100.

*Daniel Calhoun, Centennial: Calhoun (6-6, 350) is the consensus No. 1 tackle prospect nationally among juniors and Centennial’s highest-rated recruit in history, beating out former NFL offensive lineman David Yankey, who was a two-time consensus All-American at Stanford. He has started every game since he was a ninth grader. He didn’t allow a sack last season as a sophomore.

*D.J. Chester, Eagle’s Landing Christian: Chester was ELCA’s left tackle last season, and he finishes blocks like scenes from “The Blind Side.” Chester is a former state champion and runner-up in the shot put and discus. Chester (6-5, 300) is a consensus four-star recruit whose reported favorites include Auburn, LSU and Florida State.

*R.J. Grigsby, North Cobb: Grigsby (6-3, 310) was the best offensive lineman on a 10-2 Class 7A team that averaged 38.4 points per game last season, when he was first-team all-Cobb County. He’s North Cobb’s most heavily recruited offensive lineman since Mike Fredenburg in 1990. His nickname is “Big Grizz.” Grigsby committed to North Carolina in July.

*Bo Hughley, Hughes: Hughley (6-7, 290) is the only Georgia offensive lineman who has been first-team all-state the past two seasons. He is the highest-rated Hughes recruit in history, a little ahead of former Georgia star and NFL player D’Andre Walker. He conditioned this offseason with running backs and linebackers instead of the linemen to improve speed and agility. Hughley committed to Georgia during his junior season.

*Connor Lew, Kennesaw Mountain: Lew is a center and a four-year starter who made first-team Class 6A all-state last season. He’s a two-time first-team all-region player. He has a personal-best clean of 355 pounds and a 4.4 GPA. Lew (6-3, 280) is the third-highest recruit in school history behind current Georgia tight end Ryland Goede and teammate Cayden Lee, a wide receiver. Lew committed to Miami on Friday.

*Paul Mubenga, Buford: Mubenga, the left tackle on Buford’s Class 6A championship team, was credited with 87 pancake blocks and a 94% blocking grade. A consensus three-star recruit, Mubenga (6-4, 280) committed to LSU last month.

*Zechariah Owens, Eagle’s Landing Christian: A consensus top-200 national recruit, Owens is the highest-rated prospect in ELCA history. He was first-team all-state and all-Southern Crescent last season. He’s exceptionally mobile for a player his size (6-5, 365). He played right tackle last season opposite D.J. Chester, another top-200 national recruit, making them the state’s best pair of tackles. Owens committed to Clemson on July 4.

*Madden Sanker, South Paulding: Sanker was an AJC honorable mention all-state and Recruit Georgia first-team pick. He had 50 pancake blocks and a 90% grade for the season at left tackle. Sanker is a top-125 national recruit and the top-rated lineman prospect in county history. Sanker (6-4, 305) committed to Louisville in July.

*Kelton Smith, Carver (Columbus): Smith played right tackle last season for Carver’s Class 4A runner-up team and was a bit overshadowed by teammate Elijah Pritchett, who signed with Alabama. Smith is a former state runner-up in the shot put. Smith (6-5, 300) is a consensus top-300 national recruit. He committed to Georgia in July.

*Shamurad Umarov, Denmark: Umarov was the starting left tackle on Denmark’s first team to win a playoff game as a sophomore and first to win a region title as a junior. He allowed only two sacks in 2021 and was first-team Northern Crescent and all-region. With NFL size, Umarov (6-6, 335) is a consensus top-400 recruit who committed to Tennessee last month.

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