Saturday, November 1, 2008

Player Anatomy: Phil Loadholt, OU


Character / Leadership Ability:
Loadholt is a high character person and player who has not been a problem off the field or on it.

Competitive Nature / Work Ethic: The left tackle plays hard and has worked hard to learn the OU offense after enrolling in January of 2007. He quickly adapted to the scheme and became a starter.

Football Intelligence: A former JUCO player from Garden City (KS), he started 14 games at left tackle in his first season in Norman, picking up the Oklahoma offense quickly. He is reliable and does not miss assignments on the field.

Size: This Sooner possesses huge size, with long arms and legs, as well as great thickness throughout his lower and upper body.

Athletic Ability:
An amazing athlete for his size, the 300-pounder moves very well and is naturally strong. He has great length and bulk with a big bubble and lean legs.

Toughness / Durability: Loadholt has not missed time due to injury, doesn't take plays off, and comes off hard on every snap.

Pass Blocking: He comes out of a two-point stance on most downs, playing with a wide base and a quick back step. He works well moving back to his left and standing up a defender when protecting his quarterback Sam Bradford. Loadholt has a good arm lock and elbow bend, as well as excellent game awareness. He does benefit from playing next to left guard Duke Robinson—the two form one of the toughest double teams in the nation.

Movement / Space: The All-Big 12 performer has quick feet and good agility, allowing him to remain light on his feet. One step takes up about three yards. He has the lateral quickness and footwork necessary to man the left tackle position and protect the quarterback’s backside.

Quickness: The Sooner is quick off the ball, chops his feet well and can mirror a defender. He has the quickness to move outside and inside with ease and can go inside to out with the ability to get up field to block.

Run Blocking:
Loadholt can pull and understands how to work down the line of scrimmage. Has a very nice hinge block to protect the weakside on runs and will often engulf opposing defenders. He gets to the second level well, works up field looking for people to block, and is strong enough to push the pile up field once he arrives.

Strength: It comes as no surprise that the former Colorado discus champion possesses strong arms and legs, making him capable of blocking any college lineman one-on-one. While he has very good natural strength, like most college players, Loadholt could still get stronger with more time in the weight room. Specifically, he needs to add lower body strength, as he tends to rely on his upper body too often.

Technique: At times, the Oklahoma tackle can get a little high coming out of his stance, and works best out of a two-point (as seen above). He will dip his shoulders to drive a defender to the ground. Loadholt shows good balance; he’s a knee bender who keeps his hands up and rarely allows the defender get into his body.

Photo Credit: OU Athletics Department