Chet Kuplen of Sports in Kansas takes a look at top returning players in the state position by position along with some lists compiled by Conor Nicholl of Sports in Kansas. Offensive Lineman is always a loaded list in the state of Kansas with many of our prized recruits over the years coming from the position. However, our lists aren’t just prospect based as we cover the high school seasons of football, not just potential or recruiting.
This list is not ranked by player or a recruiting list. Research is compiled from our all-state teams last year, stats from last year, all-league selections, off-season combines and input from other media members/coaches. Chet Kuplen of Sports in Kansas conducts premium player evaluations of players every year that are looking to play at the next level. If you’re interested in this premium service, please contact [email protected] as we have helped hundreds of athletes across the state over the last 11 years.
Top Returning 2023 Offensive Lineman
(not a recruiting list or in any ranked order)
Braden Hales, Olathe North
Hales has multiple FBS offers and was a first team non-senior pick last season from Sports in Kansas. Looking for another big year out of the Sunflower League product. He was also a 6A all-state pick from SIK.
Brett Carroll, Olathe East
Carroll is 6’4” and 285 pounds with a commitment to the University of Minnesota. He is a multiple sport standout as a state wrestling champion at heavyweight and state champion in the shot put in 6A last spring.
Gus Hawkins, Mill Valley & Mason Kemp, Mill Valley
The KSU commit is one of the best lineman in the state and was a first team non-senior pick from Sports in Kansas last season along with being a 5A all-state pick for powerhouse Mill Valley. Kemp may not be the headline name like FBS recruit Hawkins but he is primed for a big senior season after earning SIK non-senior honors last fall.
Kaeden Massey, Lyndon
Massey is one of the biggest players in the state at 6’8” and 280 pounds. He’s also very explosive as he cleans 335 pounds and is one of the top discus throwers in the state along with being one of the best lineman in any class. Massey, who plays 8-man, has committed to Kansas State. Many may have considered him a project a few years ago, but he has developed nicely into one of the states best players. Lyndon is loaded in 8M-I for 2023. He was a first team Non-Senior pick last season from SIK and all-state first team in 8M-I.
Brody Widrig, Beloit
Widrig has been in the shadows of All-Everything athlete Grady Seyfert the last few years as Seyfert put together one of the best small school careers as a lineman and thrower in state history. However, Widrig has been a huge part of paving the way for a rushing attack of Beloit the last several seasons. He was be a potential all-state selection in 2A this season with the year we expect him to have. Beloit also has sophomore Brody Litton at tight end/defensive end that we will talk about at a later time on that list but could figure into multiple spots. Litton – At 6’5″ and 240 pounds, he could emerge onto the recruiting scene this season.
Brock Heath, Blue Valley Northwest & Andrew Babalola, Blue Valley Northwest
This is more of a projection pick here but both have all the tools they need to be potential frontline players. Heath (6’5 250 Jr.) has received multiple FBS offers and will look to be one of the best juniors in 6A this season after an all-league honorable mention season for Clint Rider and the Huskies last year. His brother is a former SIK all-state pick in Jackson Heath who now plays at the FCS level at Columbia. Babalola has great size at 6’6” and 280 pounds along with Heath that could form a great young unit up front for BVNW over the next two seasons.
Kapaun returns arguably the best offensive player in the state and his offensive line produced for him one year ago as four of the five are back in Henry Orth, Aydan Spiers, Paul Bloomer and John Knapp. Keep an eye on the KMC unit up front.
Augustus Thuston, Chanute
Has been a mainstay on the line for the Comets over the last few seasons that has saw a lot of success in the SEK league and 4A East. He has multiple MIAA offers and will be one of the best lineman in 4A this season. He was all-non senior last year from SIK. Great size at 6’4.5” 280 pounds. Has a score of 29 on his ACT in the class of 2024.
Daylee Vanykle, Hutchinson
Vanykle was a first team non-senior pick for Hutchinson last season. He will look to be one of the better lineamn in the AVCTL-I this year.
Jeremy Schleicher, Bishop Miege, Baker North, Bishop Miege, Dominic Werner, Bishop Miege, Jalen Wilson
An all-state 4A pick last season as well as a first team non-senior from SIK was Schleicher. The Stags will look to defend their title in a loaded 4A East that features Aquinas and St. James. North was a second team a SIK non-senior pick last season. Werner is back after an all-ekl honorable mention season and Wilson was an all-state pick on defense. All four return up front.
Holden Ziegler, Council Grove
Ziegler will look to be one of the top two-way players in 2A this season after an all-state sophomore season on defensive line last fall. CG has made some serious jumps in improvement recently and if they look to continue that Ziegler will have to be big on both sides of the ball.
Caiden Hoffman, Hoisington
Hoffman (6’3” 310 Sr.) will be one of the top 2A lineman in the state this season and look to lead the Hoisington rushing attack that returns nearly all of their production. Hoisington always has good lineman under head coach Zach Baird and this looks to be the next one. He was a non-senior all-state pick from SIK last year.
Dalton Roush, Holton
Holton is a powerhouse on the rushing attack and returns one of its best lineamn in Dalton Roush who earned all-state honors on defensive line last fall. He will double as one of the better 3A two-way lineman this season.
Carson Kraft, Aquinas & Stephen Carroll, Aquinas
Kraft was a first team all-non senior pick last season for STA as he will look to lead one of the most consistent rushing attacks in the state. Aquinas is a major contender in 4A. Another Carroll brother is back for Aquinas, it seems like they’ve been around for so many years. He’s only a sophomore after starting on the offensive line last season and earning all-league honorable mention honors. Expect a big year from the sophomore.
Kooper Tichenor, Holcomb
The 6’3” and 280 pound senior is very athletic for his size and moves well. He was an all-state pick in both football and baseball last season for the Longhorns. After playing for his uncle Kent Teeter he will now look to play for his first cousin, Trey Teeter, this fall, in his first year as the Longhorn head coach. If the name Tichenor sounds familiar it should as his father, Todd, is an MLB umpire, who was recently the crew chief of this years MLB all-star game.
Hank Purvis, Bishop Carroll
Carroll has a lot of key pieces back this season and Purvis will be one of the best lineman in all of Kansas. The non-senior all-state pick has committed to UNLV and will look to protect Jackson King at the QB spot this fall.
Sam Lough, Basehor Linwood
Levi Cooley has graduated after back to back all-state seasons but we feel like Sam Lough will be the next Bobcat to be an all-4A caliber lineman this fall after earning all-state honorable mention honors one year ago.
Drake Kotzman, Girard & Caleb Combs, Girard
While Kotzman is better known on defense, earning all-state honorable mention last season, if he’s asked to play both ways this season, he could be one of the better 3A lineman in the state. He’s one of the biggest players in Kansas at 6’6” and 335 pounds. He may be a project to some teams at the next level but he’s only gotten better every year. Look for a huge season for Kotzman. Caleb Combs also returns up front after a unanimous first team selection to all-league last year. Girard also has two tight ends that range from 6’3” to 6’4”. Trojans have some size up front.
Josh Grimm, Sabetha, Jacob Grimm, Sabetha
Josh Grimm was a first team all-2A pick last season and one of the top returning lineman in the always loaded Big 7 league. Jacob was also a first team all-league selection. The defensive line returns Tyler Menold who was a first team all-league selection last year. Sabetha has a lot of key pieces back that could have them as a standout team on the 2A east.
Holden Bass, Nemaha Central
We feel Bass is one of the most underrated players in the state. He stands around 6’3” and weighs 275 pounds and has earned all-state honors the last two seasons for the Thunder who won the state title in 2022. Also a back to back selection on the non-senior team. This is likely the top player returning in all of 2A for 2023.
Atticus Martin, St. Mary’s
While Martin may be more known for defense we expect him to be one of the top two-way 1A lineman in the state this season after earning all-state on defense for the defending 1A champ in 2022 as a junior.
Cole Chalashtari, Maize
Chalashtari has great size and was an all-league honorable mention pick last season. With the graduation of all-state 5A lineman from Maize, Jack Kerr and Mason Thrush, expect Chalashtari to be one of the better lineamn in the AVTCL this season.
Harlem Miller, Medicine Lodge
Miller earned first team 1A honors last season as a junior and is looking for a big senior season.
Jon Mader, Hoxie
The Hoxie senior returns after earning all-state honors in 8M-I last season. He should be one of the best 8-man has to offer on the line for 2023.
Gunnar Williams, Conway Springs
Williams is back after an all-league junior season that saw him named unanimous all-league in the Central Plains league. He will look to lead the charge for running back Brayden Kunz.
Gage Gibson, Salina Central, Dawson Rodd, Andover Central, Joe Thomson, Ark City
Gibson was a first team all-league pick, unanimously, last season for Salina Central. He will look to be one of the best AVTCL-II lineman this season. SC has several key pieces back that could make for a very nice season with the return of Gunnar Gorss, Hunter Mowery, Ty Young, Dez Gibson, and Jameer Moore, plus many more. Rodd was a first team all-league selection in the AVCTL last season along with Joe Thompson of Ark City.
Nick Ruth, Newton
Flying a little under the radar is senior Nick Ruth who has great size at 6”5 and 265 pounds. He is a 50 plus foot shot thrower and has a 26 on his ACT. He shows explosiveness on the tape and can move in the class of 2024.
Andrew Kenney, Manhattan
Kenney is back after a first team all-league season in the Centennial League. He helped Manhattan to their first state title since the late 1980s last season.
Caden Estrada & Washburn Rural OL
Estrada (6’2” 275) was first team All-Centennial League as a sophomore last year. He returns with some loades size up front. Jacob Hawks (6’8” 310) and Nathan Miller (6’4” 285) were also all-league honorable mention last year. Wa Ru has several key pieces back all over both sides of the ball, their defense featuring Packson Bettis, JC Heim, Jaren Heim, Jamond Lane plus many more. The line also features Dylan Tajchman (6’0” 230), Andrew Holman (6’2” 255) and Ben Glendinning (6’3” 240) for some great size up front on the OL.
Cooper Jay, Augusta
Jay is primed for a big senior season for the Orioles. He has great size at 290 pounds and stands 6-foot-2. He also benches 345, cleans 285 and squats 515. He gets it done off the field as well with a 4.0 GPA and a 30 ACT.
Weston Langvardt, Chapman
Langvardt earned first team all-league last season and has emerged on the recruiting scene with multiple MIAA offers and an MIAA offer. Great size at 6’4” and 280 pounds.
You know Andale is going to have some 3A all-state picks its just a matter of who. The Indians lose a ton of talent but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t been dominating in the junior varsity ranks as well. Henry Eck, Cody Engelbrecht, Ian Auoad, return after earning some type of all-league and any could be all-state candidates in 3A with good seasons. Jack Kraus (Top 11) and Brayden Weber both graduated after all-state seasons in 2022.
Seth Goins, De Soto
The 2025 prospect is worth a chance as a project at the next level and it may pay off due to his great size. 6’6” 359-pounds. He has a long way to go as he continues to improve but he is definitely a player out of the KC area in 2025 that could jump off the page as he continues to mature into a prospect.
Hadley Holmes, Blue Valley West & Myles Ewell, Blue Valley West
Holmes was a second team all-league pick in the states best league (EKL) last season and not many non-seniors make the list. He is 6’3” 225 and may be a big undersized for OL at the next level but is being projected as a TE/DE in college. He holds an FCS offer from Drake. His teammate Myles Ewell is also an interesting prospect that could be a good project at the next level for someone. He is 6’7” and 285 pounds and has started to circulate FBS interest.
Max Robinson, Derby
After starting as a freshman and earning all-league honors last year we feel that Robinson (2026) could be the next all-state caliber lineman for Derby over the next few seasons. While he still may have a ways to go he is a lot further ahead of most sophomores in the state with a season of big-time football under his belt at the 6A level for state powerhouse Derby. He has nice size at 6’3” and 250 pounds.
Grant Buessing, Axtell & Sawyer Deters, Axtell
Buessing returns for Axtell after an all-state honorable mention season last year. He will look to lead the team up front after the graduation of all-state lineman Owen Strathman. Axtell has won back to back in 8M-II. Sawyer Deters will be back to lead the Axtell defensive line.
Kainen White, Coffeyville & Keiton Jones, Coffeyville
We talked to several coaches at the 4A level last season that thought White, a senior this season, may have been one of the best lineman in the state last year. Although he may be a bit undersized to FBS recruiters at 6’0.5” 272 pounds) his strength is off the charts with a 600 pound squat and 300 pound bench. He’s also an all-state wrestler. Coffeyville seems to be quite loaded on paper and welcome in transfer Keiton Jones (6’4.75” 300 lbs) up front qho also squats 600 and benches 320 in the class of 2025. He has a Pitt State offer and hasn’t come close to reaching his ceiling as he should project as a FBS prospect within the next year.
Other Top Returnees across the state on the OL for 2023
Petren Bartolome – Junction City, Caden Estrada – Washburn Rural, Andrew Kenney – Manhattan, Hank Fuchs – Free State, Kaleb Cape – Hutchinson, Matthew Johnson – Great Bend, Aydan Spiers – Kapaun, Derek Lowe – Wellington, Joe Nutt – McPherson, Keegan Beims – Concordia, Caleb Combs – Girard, Colton Spellman – Clay Center, Josiah Todwon – Hayden, Mason Faith – Rock Creek, Carter Charvagt – Hayden, Henry Eck – Andale, Aedan O’Halloran – Hesston, Brendan Anderson – Ellsworth, Garren Goodner – Humboldt, KConor Herman – Halstead, Kaeden Kasselman – Garden Plain, Kendall Walker – TMP, Braden Baldwin – Pleasanton, Kodyn Moylan – St. Marys, Carson Gray – Sterling, Will Steinlage – Centralia, R.B Tweed – Jeff County North, Drake SLifer – Valley Heights, Gabe Riffel – Sterling, Adres Flores – Jayhawk Linn, Jade Tenry – Colgan, Tristan Voss – Colgan, Blake Pauly – Conway Springs, Devonte Harris – CV/Dexter, Rhett Ihrig – Goodland, Kaden Miller – Central Burden, Cole Theurer – South Sumner, Caleb Anschutz – Lyndon, Parker Haid – Burlingame, Seth Schwein – Victoria, Kaden ARensman – Kinsley, Wyatt Collins -Canton Galva, Zach Oswald – Lebo, Luke Bartley – Waverly, Connor McPherson – cheylin, Trent Schnittker – Cunningham, Justin Pasley – Tescott, Eric Franco – Salina South, Payton Smith – Maize South, Derrick Vargas – Salina South, Keaton Parsons – Buhler, Cody Engelbrecht – Andale, Kulton Richwine – Rose Hill, Abbott Hudnley – Holton, Jacob Barnes – Manhattan, Jarrett Johnson – Manhattan, Jack Gregory – Cheney, Landon Daniels – Central Plains, Monathan Mason – Ellinwood, Ervey Triana – Macksville, Trey Kenefake – Aquinas, Pierce Cunningham – Aquinas, Davis Weber – BV North, Jackson Cunningham – BV West, Will Morgan – BV Southwest, Carter Meek – Spring Hill, Jake Van Horn – Baldwin, Nathan Davis – Wichita Northwest, Lathan McCoy – Wichita Heights, Dalton Schraeder – Wichita Northwest, Henry Orth – Kapaun, Austin Fulton – Wichita East, John Knapp – Kapaun, Alonzo Cabral – Heights, Samuel Suter-Tan – Hutch Trinity Victor Ruiz-Torres – Ell Saline, Layton Wiens – Moundridge, Will Wegerer – Cunningham, Landen Bell – Atchison, Caden Seems – Phillipsburg, Eli Franklin – Smith Center, Teagan Pfieifer – Russell, Braylon Bittell – Plainville, Braden Strausbaugh – Silver Lake, Malachi Bell – Rock Creek, Jordan Rodriguez – Ellsworth, Nathan Weller – SE Saline, Jack Richards – De Soto, Brayden Fulton – Wamego, Brody Droegemeier – Wabaunsee, Tate Deever – Wabaunsee, Joshua Gonzalez – Nemaha Central, Abram Keim – Nemaha Central, Andrew Tien – Circle, Garren Campbell – Cheney, Jayden Berry – Olathe South, Jacob O’Donnell – SMNW, Kallen Higdon – Rose Hill, Traven Niehues – BV Northwest, Adrian Hernandez – Garden City, Thomas Cromer – Eudora, A.J. Quick – Cheney, Emiliana Zuniga – Chase Co., Austin Fulton – Wichita East, Thomas Cordes – Paola, Kaden Snyder – Salina Central, Warrick Jaymes – Salina Central, Zachary Eagle – Leavenworth, Colton Spellman – Clay Center, Cooper Dow – Wamego, Sam Kending – Osborne, Danny Boeken – Iola, Joseph Sties – Wellsville, Carter WIlmart- Wellsville, Miles Newell – South Sumner, Luke Harris – Fort Scott, Garrett Love – Chanute, Matthew Patterson – Hodgeman Co., Chris Andrws – SM North, Will Hendricks – Lawrence, Nathan Leeper – Olathe NW, Dewzell Dillard – SMNW, Serge Otiankouya – Gardner Edgerton, Alex Spencer – Olathe North, Ethan Whittley – Gardner Edgerton, Zack Kirkpatrick – St. Paul, Alex Long – Oswego, Rykan Carver – Shawnee Heights, Nolan Norburto – Leavenworth, Alex McHardie – Shawnee Heights, Kaden Jordan – Seaman, Nate Gomez – Dodge City, Sebastian Lopez – Garden City, Andrew Moreno – Garden City, Hudson Rice – Liberal, Davis Weber – BV North, Benny Underhill – Junction City, Logan Kirchoff – Blue Valley, Braden Wilmes – Free State