Keeping Score

C-USA Top 5: Cincinnati's Fabini tops among league's O-linemen

In an era where the best linemen on both sides of the ball mostly wind up in the SEC and other power conferences, Conference USA has had its own standouts on the offensive line.

The players included in this C-USA Top 5 could have played on every level of college football and been all-conference performers.

In reviewing the best offensive linemen, one stood out – Jason Fabini, a former Cincinnati offensive lineman who went on to an 11-year career in the NFL.

Here are your top five offensive linemen in C-USA history:

1. Jason Fabini (Cincinnati, 1995-97) – A three-time first-team All-Conference USA performer, Fabini started 43 of 44 games in his his college career. At 6-foot-7, 312 pounds, Fabini became one of the best offensive linemen to ever suit up for the New York Jets.

2. Sebastian Vollmer (Houston, 2005-08) – The German-born Vollmer went from a freshman who could barely speak English to first-team All-Conference USA as a senior. The 6-foot-8, 315-pound Vollmer was a second-round pick by the New England Patriots. He has started 52 of 59 career games for the Patriots.

3. Kelvin Beachum (SMU, 2008-11) – He was twice named first-team All-Conference USA, earning second-team honors as a sophomore in 2008. Beachum was a four-year starter for the Mustangs before becoming a seventh-round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012. He started 12 games at guard for the Steelers in 2013.

4. Matt McCants (UAB, 2007-11) – Twice named first-team All-Conference USA, McCants is considered one of the best players to ever suit up for the Blazers. He earned 42 career starts before becoming a sixth-round draft pick by the New York Giants in 2012. After being cut by the Giants, McCants played in 13 games last year at right tackle for the Oakland Raiders.

5. Lamar Holmes (Southern Miss, 2010-11) – It all came together for Holmes in his senior season, starting at left tackle for a USM offensive line that helped lead the way to a 12-2 campaign. Since Holmes completed his eligibility in 2011, the USM offensive line hasn't been the same. Holmes, a second-round pick in 2012, started 15 games for the Atlanta Falcons last year.

Also under consideration: East Carolina's Brian Rimpf, Chris Clark of Southern Miss, Jeremy Parquet of Southern Miss, UCF's Jah Reid and USM's George Batiste.


Next up in the C-USA Top 5: Defensive linemen, Monday