HSFB preview by position: Transition to defensive line no easy task

Chris Harlan
| Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, 9:27 p.m.

Tyler Hudanick's future could be offense. The Seneca Valley senior has shown an ability to block, and his 6-foot-5, 290-pound frame certainly makes him big enough to play tackle.

Quad North coaches named him a first-team all-conference offensive lineman last season, but there's also another side to him.

At times last season, Hudanick became a disruptive defensive tackle.

Hudanick's highlight video shows him push past the center, chase down a quarterback and throw him to the ground for a turnover-causing tackle.

Another shows him pull down a rusher in the backfield.

Defensive plays like those were what some opposing coaches most remember about Hudanick's junior year. His blocking was good, but blocking him was a battle.

Not every offensive lineman can transition into a two-way standout like Hudanick, Moon's Niko Yaramus, Mt. Lebanon's Matt Hoffman and others.

Offensive linemen are athletic, without question. But playing defense might require just a little bit more.

Chris Harlan is staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

1. Tyler Hudanick

Seneca Valley, sr., 6-5, 290

A strong two-way tackle, Hudanick holds around two dozen scholarship offers, including one from almost every school in the Mid-American Conference. Rated a three-star recruit by Rivals, Hudanick was a Class AAAA first-team, all-conference offensive lineman last year.

2. Niko Yaramus

Moon, sr., 6-3, 280

A versatile player, Yaramus can handle any position on the offensive or defensive lines. Offensively, he switched from tackle to center last season. The first-team, all-conference pick holds more than a dozen college offers, with Akron, Buffalo, Cornell, Army and Navy among them.

3. Trey Blandford

Penn-Trafford, sr. , 6-2, 260

The defensive end had 63 tackles with eight sacks as a junior, earning him first-team, all-conference honors in the Quad East. He also played guard for a Penn-Trafford offense that produced a 1,200-yard rusher and reached the WPIAL Class AAAA semifinals.

4. Matt Hoffman

Mt. Lebanon, sr., 6-2, 250

Hoffman led the Blue Devils with three sacks last season. A first-team, all-conference offensive lineman, Hoffman excelled on defense. The end had 24 tackles with four tackles for a loss, recovered a fumble and blocked a punt as a junior. He committed to Penn in July.

5. Arrington Gipson

Aliquippa, sr., 6-1, 290

A two-way starter at tackle, Gipson helped the Quips return to Heinz Field last season for the WPIAL Class AA final. He's received college offers from Akron and Temple. As a left tackle, Gipson was part of an offensive line that blocked for two tailbacks who each surpassed 4,000 career yards. He was first-team all-conference.

One to watch: Zack Blystone

Washington, sr., 6-2, 270

The defensive tackle missed his junior season when the WPIAL ruled that his transfer from Charleroi was made with athletic intent. Now that his year-long ban has expired, Blystone can join Washington's lineup.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Do you want to help us improve our commenting platform?
Click here to take this a survey.

Show commenting policy