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Northwestern football signing day profiles 2016: OL Gunnar Vogel

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Vogel comes in as one of Northwestern's four offensive line commits.

Photo: Student Sports

QUICK HITS

POSITION: Offensive Tackle
HEIGHT: 6-6
WEIGHT: 285
HOMETOWN: Westerville, Ohio
HIGH SCHOOL: Westerville South
247 COMPOSITE RATING: ★★★ (.8400)
NATIONAL RANK: 1078
POSITION RANK: 92
STATE RANK: 49
OTHER OFFERS: Harvard, Kent State, Miami (OH), Ohio, Toledo  
MORE247 Profile HudlTwitter

BACKGROUND

Vogel, one of Northwestern's four offensive line commits, committed back in June. He was the seventh player to join the class, but the last of the four offensive linemen. While Vogel was not the most highly recruited player, he still had five other offers. Most were from in-state schools such as Ohio and Toledo, but he also had an offer from Harvard. Vogel drew interest from other Big Ten schools such as Indiana and Michigan State, including a visit from Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, but never received a formal offer from either. Both Rivals and 247 Sports rate Vogel as a three-star recruit and his 247 composite has him ranked 14th in Northwestern's class. Here are his highlights:

The biggest attribute that Vogel possesses is simply his size. Listed at 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds, he's already around the same size as most of Northwestern's current offensive linemen. For reference, Northwestern's two primary starting tackles in 2015 were Blake Hance, who is 6-foot-5, 300 pounds and Eric Olson, who is 6-foot-6, 295 pounds. Vogel already has the size to play at the college level and that shows in his highlights above. On multiple different plays Vogel can be seen pushing opposing defensive linemen 5-plus yards up the field or pancaking them at the snap. His strength and size are on full display. However, due to this size difference it is unclear as to how he will fare against bigger (and quicker) defensive linemen in college.

OUTLOOK

Vogel joins an offensive line group that is in somewhat of a state of flux. Senior Shane Mertz was granted a sixth year of eligibility, but stalwarts Geoff Mogus and Matt Frazier are gone. This will open up some spots for younger players on the line, but not necessarily for Vogel.

Both Mogus and Frazier were guards, while Vogel is listed as a tackle, a position at which Northwestern is more or less set heading into the season. Blake Hance is a near lock at left tackle, especially after being named to the  Big Ten Network's All-Freshman Team. Senior Eric Olson should be the starter at right tackle. Vogel, despite his size, will likely redshirt in 2016. He'll then potentially be competing with fellow class-of-2016 prospect Jesse Meyler, Tommy Doles and others for a starting spot. A lot can change between now and then of course, but there's a chance Vogel won't see meaningful playing time until his junior year.