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December 13, 2010
Crab Bowl: Key matchup in trenches
MORE SHRINE BOWL All-Star previews | Five things to watch BOWIE, Md. - A lot of games are won in the trenches and this one could follow that same formula. Both squads feature quite a few talented big men, and Rivals.com analyst Brian Perroni will analyze the matchup of the Washington D.C. offensive line vs. the Baltimore defensive line in Monday's spotlight.
The players:Washington D.C. offensive linemen: Kelby Johnson (DeMatha), Leon Brown (Parkdale), Jamal Price (McDonough), Joe Kopp (Arundel)
The breakdown:The Washington D.C. offensive line features quite a few mammoth tackles. Leading the way is Johnson, a Virginia commit who comes in at 6-foot-8 and 285 pounds. He normally towers over his linemates but that won't be the case this week. Brown and Price both stand 6-foot-6 and weigh in at 340 and 330 pounds, respectively. Kopp is a very good interior prospect who moves well.
With a line that is anchored by those four behemoths, the running backs have to be smiling as they think of the lanes they will have opened for them. However, it is the quarterbacks that will likely benefit the most as all three tackles are athletic for their size and should provide good pass protection.
The team also has several other offensive linemen that are very good high school players to complement the main four. If they can all get on the same page with only a week of practice together, this could end up being a very good unit come game time.
Baltimore will counter with a solid defensive line, though. Johnson will have his hands full with Jones, a fellow Virginia commit. The two will likely be going against each other in practice for years to come so this game should start a pretty fierce rivalry. Jones is a strong defender with good size at 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds that will be hard to move in the run game.
Reaver will man the weakside defensive end spot and is pretty quick for a 6-foot-4, 225-pound defender. He could give the much larger offensive tackles fits in the pass rush. They will have to move their feet quickly to cut him off from the quarterback. McManus is a slightly undersized defensive tackle at 6-foot, 255 pounds. He will have to man the middle to try and stop a D.C. running game that will feature several talented running backs.