2009 CFN All-Americans & Top Players - Center
USC C Kristofer O'Dowd
USC C Kristofer O'Dowd
Posted Aug 11, 2009

CFN 2009 All-Americans and Top 25 Players - Centers

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2009 1st Team All-American

Kristofer O'Dowd, Jr., USC
Last year, USC was forced to break in four new starters on the offensive line. This year, the Trojans reap the benefits as the entire two-deep returns intact. The crown jewel of the front wall is the 6-5, 300-pound O'Dowd, who’s poised to take another step toward becoming the nation’s best center. Already an All-Pac-10 first teamer after just two seasons, he’s the total package at the position, combining outstanding footwork and power with the leadership, toughness, and communication skills of a four-year starter. Start making reservations for the All-America team.

25 Best Centers
1. Kristofer O'Dowd, Jr., USC
2. John Estes, Sr., Hawaii
3. Stefen Wisniewski, Jr., Penn State
4. Kenny Alfred, Sr., Washington State
5. Maurkice Pouncey, Jr. Florida
6. Erik Cook, Sr. New Mexico
7. Michael Brewster, Soph. Ohio State
8. Tim Barnes, Jr. Missouri
9. Joel Nitchman, Sr. Michigan State
10. Josh McNeil, Sr. Tennessee
11. Chris Fisher, Sr. UL Lafayette
12. Eddie Adamski, Sr., Northern Illinois
13. Colin Baxter, Jr. Arizona
14. Ryan Blaszczyk, Sr. Rutgers
15. Sean Allen, Sr. East Carolina
16. J.D. Walton, Sr. Baylor
17. Jake Seitz, Sr. UAB
18. Ryan McMahon, Jr. Florida State
19. Zane Taylor, Jr. Utah
20. Jim McKenzie, Jr. Syracuse
21. David White, Sr. Ohio
22. Danny Franks, Sr. Troy
23. Chris Hall, Sr. Texas
24. Phil Coasta, Sr. Maryland
25. Ted Larsen, Sr. NC State
2009 2nd Team

John Estes, Sr., Hawaii
The Warrior line has to do some major rebuilding, but it has a star to work around in Estes, one of the nation's best centers and a good pro prospect. The two-time first team All-WAC performer has started in all 41 games of his career starting out at right guard before finding a home in the middle. While he's not huge at 6-2 and 290 pounds, he's a tremendous athlete who will be on several All-America lists.

Honorable Mention

Kenny Alfred, Sr. Washington State
The Cougars have lots of returning starters, but very little confidence in an offensive line that struggled throughout the 2008 season. The lone exception is the 6-2, 300-pound Alfred, one of the nation's most underrated centers. Highly cerebral and fundamentally sound, he's been the lone constant up front for the last three years. An honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection a year ago, he's going to get a shot to play at the next level.

Michael Brewster, Soph. Ohio State
Brewster was arguably the team's second best recruit last year behind Pryor, and he showed signs of becoming a mainstay on the All-Big Ten team. The 6-5, 296-pound sophomore is versatile enough to play either guard position, but he's too valuable in the middle where he's smart enough at his young age to be able to make all the right line calls and he still hasn't reached his potential after improving game by game last year. He started in ten games, taking over for Jim Cordle, and he'll be the leader of the line for the next three years.

Tim Barnes, Jr. Missouri
The 6-4, 305-pound junior stepped in at center and showed why he was considered such a top recruit a few years ago. Still emerging and still improving, he earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors and appears ready to be the next star Tiger center now that he knows what he's doing. Originally a guard, he could move if absolutely needed, but he'll be too valuable in the middle.

Erik Cook, Sr. New Mexico
Cook's a 6-6, 315-pound senior who will play at the next level for a long time at either guard or center, but he could even get a look at tackle if needed. He played four of the five spots on the line in 2007, but this year he'll stick to his spot at center for the second year in a row.

Josh McNeil, Sr. Tennessee
McNeil was a 12-game starter last season and an anchor for the line over the last three seasons starting every week since the fourth game of his freshman season. At 6-4 and 280 pounds, he's not passive, but he's tough, consistent, and can't be dragged off the field no matter how banged up.
Joel Nitchman, Sr. Michigan State
Nitchman was one of the two returning starters to the Spartan line last year and he came though big. A 6-3, 296-pound pure run blocker, he was thrown into the fire early in his career, and he had problems with a knee injury, but he's consistent and experience. The senior will be a true quarterback for a line that needs a bit of patching.
Maurkice Pouncey, Jr. Florida
With Johnson moving over, there are plenty of options to take over the left guard spot. The most likely scenario has jPouncey, a guard by nature, to move over after starting every game last season at center. At 6-5 and 312 pounds he's a big blocker who started most of 2007 at right guard, was terrific in the middle, and is more than living up to his prep hype. He was banged up and out for most of the offseason, but he'll be a key part of the puzzle somewhere this fall..

Stefen Wisniewski, Jr. Penn State
With A.Q. Shipley gone at center, Wisniewski will move over from right guard, where he started for most of last year when he wasn't working on the left side. The nephew of former Penn State and NFL star, Steve, beefed up this offseason to get up to 302 pounds on a 6-3 frame, and now he should be even more physical and stronger for the running game. While he should be a star at center, he'll make his money at the next level at guard.