Even the best recruiters have misses from time to time. Although Ed Orgeron has done a mostly good job at stacking the roster, the 2021 class was a huge miss at offensive line with just two players signed Garett Dellinger and the focus of today’s post Kimo Makaneole.
Coming out of Niceville, FL Makaneole was a three-star prospect, No. 441 overall and ranked as the 31st interior lineman in the country according to 247. Although his rating does not compare to others in the class, he had offers from Florida State, Arizona State, Texas A&M and others. In July of 2020 Makaneole committed to Florida State. It was a commitment that held steady until December when he decommitted from the Noles at the end of December and committed to the Tigers a few days later
It’s not fair that many view Makaneole as something of a desperate throw away piece given the timing of his commitment along with his final recruiting rankings. Having said that, his substantial offer lists proves that this is not a long shot without much future.
Which brings us to the next component of this: Makaneole plays offensive line which is one of the biggest wildcards in college football. In just the last few years we’ve seen five star Kardell Thomas struggle even just to make the second team (understanding injuries are part of this) and then seen Lloyd Cushenberry go from the 1152 overall prospect to an All-SEC center and third round pick. Let me repeat that number for you, One thousand one hundred and fifty two.
Point is this is something of a crap shoot. While Makaneole hasn’t had his name repeated with frequency since the start of camp that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Like many lineman out of high school the big question is how will he manage his weight. At 293 pounds he is undersized and some extra time to pack on the pounds could certainly be valuable as he looks for playing time moving forward
High End: Is a solid multi-year starter as an upperclassman
Low End: Can’t get playing time even in a reserve role, transfers
Realistic: Starts seeing spot duty as a redshirt freshman or sophomore, becomes go-to swing lineman as a senior à la Adrian Magee.