Jan 20, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; Baltimore Ravens tackle Bryant McKinnie (78) lines up against the New England Patriots defense in the second quarter of the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Bryant McKinnie Named Top Lineman of BCS Era By Athlon

Athlon Sports recently released the Top 50 Offensive Linemen of the BCS Era.  Sitting atop the list is former University of Miami tackle Bryant McKinnie.

When comprising their list, Athlon took the following into consideration: statistical production, individual awards, team success, longevity, supporting cast, level of competition, raw talent and athletic ability.

During his tenure at the U, McKinnie was a force to be reckoned with.  As part of the infamous 2000-01 Miami Hurricanes team – arguably the best college football team ever to be assembled – McKinnie helped lead the Hurricanes to a 2001 BCS National Championship win and a 23-1 record.

The 6’9″, 335-pound behemoth arrived at UM from junior college (Lackawanna JC) and although he only played two years in Coral Gables, McKinnie made his name be known.

In his senior season (2001), McKinnie was considered by many as the most dominating player in college football.

2001 Accolades:

  • Outland Trophy Winner
  • Consensus First-Team All-American
  • Two-Time Unanimous First-Team All-Big East (Coaches)
  • National Player of the Year (CNNSI.com)
  • National Offensive Player of the Year Finalist (Football News)
  • 8th in Heisman Trophy Voting (26 first-place votes)

McKinnie never allowed a sack during his career at UM, junior college or high school.  A consensus 4-star JUCO prospect, the big man chose Miami over Arkansas, Penn State, Iowa, South Carolina, West Virginia, Clemson and Syracuse.

Taken in the first-round of the 2002 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected McKinnie with the seventh overall pick.

Also making the list is former Hurricanes center Brett Romberg at No. 15.

From Athlon:

With Romberg at center, the Hurricanes went 35-2, won three Big East championships, played in two national championship games and won the 2001 BCS national title.  He won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center and was a consensus All-American in 2002.”

Romberg never really made his mark in the NFL and bounced around from team to team.  Last playing for the Atlanta Falcons in 2011, Romberg is currently listed as a free agent.

To read Athlon’s Top 50 Linemen of the BCS Era, click here.

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Tags: Brett Romberg Bryant Mckinnie Football Miami Hurricanes

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