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Colorado Prep Report: At 6-10, Skipper has grown (and still growing) into top recruit

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Fear The Spear

The Legend
Sep 28, 2010
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BGO's Official Resident "Tech Dummy"

Not sure if this is the right forum.....but
My question is, why is this guy playing O-line ?
Seems his height is more of a hindrance than an advantage at that position.
Why not play him either on D-line, where he can bat down balls, or at receiver, for obvious reasons ?


Football recruiters always are on the lookout for players who play bigger than their size.

But when they see Dan Skipper in action, they are thrilled to see he plays smaller.

It's no wonder. At 6-foot-10 (and still growing), the offensive lineman from Arvada (Colo.) Ralston Valley is well on his way to being the one of the tallest - or perhaps the tallest - to ever play a major role at a major college football program.

"When he walks into a room, he has to duck his head," his coach Matt Lloyd said. "But when he gets lined up in a three-point stance next to the guard, you can't tell he is 6-foot-10. He is still able to get underneath guys."

Therein lies the key. While height is a help in basketball, it can be a hindrance in football - unless you have the coordination to control it.

Adam Gorney, the West Region football analyst for Rivals.com, is among those who think Skipper has the talent to thrive in college.

"The most important consideration with players who are so tall is seeing whether they can move well and if they're comfortable in their own height," he said. "I don't really think there is a limit on height as long as the prospect can move well. Skipper gets out and blocks down the field, runs well for his size and doesn't look awkward at all.

"I have seen players his size in football and basketball look like they were on stilts because they couldn't control their huge frame. As long as Skipper can move well, then I don't think height is all that much of an issue."

Football players have been growing in stature since the game's beginning - but the emphasis has been more on weight (and strength) than height.

There have been some exceptions.

Ed 'Too Tall' Jones, a 6-9 defensive end who starred for the Cowboys in the 1970s and 80s, always has been the measuring stick.

Former NFL star lineman Jonathan Ogden (at 6-9) matched him a few decades later with the Ravens; current Patriots lineman Nate Solder is 6-8.

And while there are a few other big men coming up through the ranks - University of Miami tackle Seantrel Henderson is 6-8; Lakeland (Wash.) Lakes tackle and USC commit Zach Banner is 6-9 - they cannot match Skipper's frame.

Nor his athletic ability.

Skipper is a three-sport star at Ralston Valley, dominant in football, basketball and baseball. He says the other sports have helped him in the pursuit of his football dreams.

"[Basketball] has helped with my footwork," Skipper said. "It will be 1,000 times better for next year because I'm learning angles better and how to use my footwork more than just trying to out-muscle guys."

Sometimes, however, his height is all he needs.

Skipper plays on the field-goal block team at Ralston Valley - a job he figures to have throughout his football career. And while he hasn't been used on a tackle-eligible play near the goal line since grade school, he admits he's willing to give it a try if asked again.

He doesn't feel his height hurts him - and says he can't recall a quarterback having trouble passing around him.

Quite frankly, he said his height is not something he thinks about on the field.

"I have played my whole life and I've always been tall," Skipper said. "So I don't see it stopping me."

It will certainly not stop him from taking the next step as multiple BCS schools already have offered Skipper. Arizona State and Vanderbilt are joined by in-state programs Colorado and Colorado State.

Skipper said that Purdue, Washington and Wisconsin have all been in contact with him as well.

And if you ask his coach, more offers figure to come.

"There is no doubt that his stock is going to continue to rise and that is just based off the reaction of the coaches that have actually seen him and seen his film," Lloyd said. "The college coaches keep calling me up saying, 'Coach, he plays really hard for a big guy.'"

Editor's Note: There are no official records for tallest player to not only appear - but be a significant player - in a major college game. Richard Sligh, at 7-foot, is regarded as the tallest player to ever appear in a professional game, but his career lasted just eight games for the AFL Raiders in 1967. Sligh was little more than a novelty as he did not register a tackle. Sligh played collegiately at North Carolina Central.

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