Coaches weigh in on which linemen are the fastest in the area

Published 12:10 am Thursday, May 12, 2022

Offensive linemen are known for their power and raw strength.

The position requires one to push another person out of the way or prevent someone from getting to the quarterback.

Fans often underappreciate the position. Linemen rarely get to score a touchdown or flash stats that jump off a sheet of paper.

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Port Arthur Newsmedia polled coaches from Nederland, Port Neches-Groves and Memorial to see which linemen would come out on top in a category that is not often tested on the football field.

Linemen are not required to flash their speed, but The News wanted to know which big men could move the dial if needed.

The general consensus was PNG’s Jansen Ware was the fastest among local offensive linemen. Ware ran the 100m dash in middle school and has retained some of that speed, according to Head Coach Jeff Joseph.

“Jansen is clearly our fastest lineman,” Joseph said. “He is very fast. I think he ran a 4.8 (40-yard dash) when we tested him. It is huge to have someone that athletic who is huge. Moving is a big part of football. It is a great quality to have in any football player, especially a lineman.”

Joseph said Ware would play tackle and guard next season.

Nederland Head Coach Monte Barrow agreed Ware would probably take the crown, but nominated Jeffery Nguyen as the fastest Bulldogs lineman.

Barrow said Nguyen can play on both sides of the line and enters training camp at the tackle for Nederland.

Memorial is known for speed, but Head Coach Brian Morgan said he is not too concerned about the speed of offensive linemen on the Titans roster.

Morgan said junior lineman J’Marin Payne likely fits the role. Morgan said Payne competed in the broad jump on the track team.

“Being quick is important for a lineman,” Morgan said. “I don’t know that speed really matters for them. We don’t test it. You have to be athletic, but I prefer them be big and strong. Our guys run, but I don’t ever really see how fast they are because they don’t touch the ball.”

All three of these linemen will return in the fall to play for their respective teams. If any of these guys are required to pull to add some downfield blocking, defenders better keep their heads on a swivel.