Athlon Sports' Preseason First-Team All-America pick proves USC can develop linemen

Lincoln Riley, USC Football, USC Trojans
Lincoln Riley, USC Football, USC Trojans / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

Athlon Sports recently dropped their '2022 Preseason All-America Team,' and on their first team were two USC football players. One was not surprising at all in Jordan Addison, as he was the 2021 Biletnikoff winner. The other, however, probably surprised many non-USC fans: Andrew Vorhees.

That's correct, USC's Left Guard (and Left Tackle last year) was selected First-Team by Steven Lassan. This should be no surprise, but there is of course the baseless take that many college football fans have that states that SC can't develop offensive linemen.

How can a program have multiple blindside tackles get drafted in the first round in two of the last three NFL Drafts, and not be able to develop offensive linemen? SC did this even when they were coached by the mediocre Clay Helton and Graham Harrell. Now imagine what they can do with Lincoln Riley calling the shots.

USC Football LG/LT Andrew Vorhees allowed a total of one sack last season.

Andrew Vorhees put up that level of performance last year for USC football despite having to move back and forth from guard to tackle. He was the only offensive linemen in the nation to post both a 90+ PFF pass blocking AND run blocking grade.

Not only is he versatile, but he's incredibly effective. For a program that "can't develop offensive linemen," they certainly have some strong data points against that. Again, how many programs have had multiple blindside tackles drafted first round in the last three drafts? With Vorhees, they might have a third in four years.

How many programs had the No. 1 rated offensive line in college football (PFF) last season? Well, only one. That one was USC.

One of the biggest reasons was Vorhees, who has had back-to-back monster seasons. He is clearly expected to have a third consecutive standout season now, and his performance at USC has certainly made those expectations incredibly hard to disagree with.

Next. USC football's record against every Big Ten school. dark

It would be a tough look for the "USC can't develop linemen" crowd to see a three-star recruit in Vorhees play at an elite level for three straight seasons. And if he does play at that top level, don't be surprised if he hears his name called early in the 2023 NFL Draft.