With the news of Brandon Kennedy’s arrival in Knoxville, the current status of the Vols’ offensive line just got a whole lot better. The future at the position, however, is still uncertain. There are many promising prospects, but outside of Trey Smith, there are few certainties. Jeremy Pruitt and his staff have been putting an extra emphasis on the offensive line in the 2019 class, and they offered a fast rising, in-state prospect.
Melvin McBride, an offensive guard from Memphis, was offered by Tennessee on Thursday. He tweeted that “After a dominating performance at the camp today. (He is) blessed to receive an offer from the University of Tennessee.”
After a dominating performance at the camp today. I am blessed to receive an offer from the University of Tennessee. #RockyTop #GBO 🍊🍊 @WhitehavenTiger @CoachTBarr @CoachJPruitt @RivalsJohnson @BigWillie7179 pic.twitter.com/lDZ464QGYn
— Melvin McBride🏈 (@mjmballin) June 14, 2018
McBride plays for Whitehaven High School, one of the best teams in the state of Tennessee. He is currently rated as a three star by the 247Sports Composite rankings, and is the 827th-ranked player in the nation. Additionally, he is the No. 35 guard in the country, and the No. 26 prospect in the state.
He is a very raw prospect, as he has only been playing football for a year. But that means his playing style is less permanent, leaving a lot of room for him to be molded by his college coaching staff. Many head coaches find that intriguing. He already has great size at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds.
The Vols join a long list of schools that have already offered McBride, including SEC opponents South Carolina, Missouri and Mississippi State. Within an hour of the Vols offering him, Florida also presented him with a scholarship.
After watching his film, it’s evident why teams are intrigued by McBride. While he certainly makes a lot of the mistakes that someone with his lack of experience would make, he also oozes with potential.
He is a very strong lineman, and he knows how to use his body for power. He does a good job getting his feet in the ground and his hands inside and to drive opponents. McBride’s footwork in pass blocking is also impressive. He blocks through the whistle and absolutely finishes the block every time. He starts to run into trouble when it comes to the details of his technique, however. He doesn’t fire off the ball well, but instead often times catches the defender, then begins to drive him. He also has a tendency to poke his elbows out when he blocks, which can cause him to turn with guys rather than drive them straight back. This can also lead to more holding calls against him. His pad level is entirely too high, and sometimes he gets too top heavy instead of keeping an athletic base under himself, which can cause him to struggle with control blocking in space. However, for a guy with just one year of football experience, he is an excellent offensive lineman.
With a little bit of time and a coaching staff with the skill level of the one at Tennessee, Melvin McBride can become quite the football player. Expect the Vols to continue to show interest in the big man from Memphis.