It's not often we pay attention to offensive lineman around these parts, but we can't deny the MAC has damn good lineman. There's a reason the only MAC player to ever go No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft is an offensive lineman, and there's a reason why we named our award for the best offensive lineman in the MAC after him
In 2013 NIU's Jared Volk was named the best offensive lineman in the MAC, as determined by MAC fans. The Huskies was the leader of an offensive line that paved the way for Jordan Lynch's epic season, and another 1,000 yard rusher to boot. Volk was solid as a rock, and beat out some stiff competition for this award.
Volk is gone. But he has left behind a solid offensive line and DeKalb. One of his former inmates is among our five favorites to win this award this winter.
Entering his third season as a starter, this BGSU junior is switching positions this fall, but that doesn't mean he'll be any less valuable to the Falcons. Huettel was a Second Team All-MAC guard in 2013, but with the departure of David Kekuewa he's moving inside to take over at center. Huettel helped pave the way for one of the MAC's best rushing attacks in 2013, and with his combination of size and athleticism he'll be the anchor of a Falcons' o-line that has high expectations.
This Buffalo senior was originally recruited to UB as a defensive tackle, but has made a successful transition to the offensive side of the line. Davis si capable of playing guard or tackle, and is a rock at both. He's started in 37 consecutive games for the Bulls, paving the way for Brandon Oliver's successful career.
Andy Phillips was a Second Team All-MAC guard for the Chippewas in 2013, and expect him to improve this fall. Having started 30 consecutive games for the Chippewas, Phillips actually played alongside this award's namesake. An unstoppable force at defensive tackle in high school, Phillips' conversion to an offensive line stalwart has been seamless. In his career the Chips have allowed just 47 total sacks. That's over three seasons, and with more than three different quarterbacks under center.
This Toledo guard, now turned center, may just be the best offensive lineman in the MAC as far as the NFL is concerned. Already regarded as a middle round prospect, MAncz has the potential to move up the draft boards with a strong senior campaign. A two-time All-MAC honoree Mancz is one of the most experienced lineman in the nation having started 38 consecutive games.
Despite suffering a season-ending injury for the third consecutive season, Loos managed to earn First Team all-MAC honors in 2013 (after earning Second Team All-MAC honors in 2012). Loos, along with last year's winner Volk, was a pillar in one of the most productive offensive lines in the nation. The only thing holding Loos back from being the best lineman in the MAC at this point is his health. If he can stay healthy this fall it's hard to pick against him.