It was too good a matchup to pass up. Marian Central's Notre Dame-bound Sean Cwynar vs. Montini's Ohio State-bound Garrett Goebel, two of the three best linemen in the state going head-to-head on Friday night in Woodstock.
There has been a lot of hoopla written about the two on recruiting Websites. One service rates Goebel No. 2 in the state behind Mount Carmel linebacker Steve Filer with Cwynar rated No. 4 behind St. Rita defensive end Darius Fleming.
So who is better? One game doesn't make a season. But on Friday, I was disappointed. Neither one stood out. Neither one made a difference on defense. I have seen their film and I expected more.
Both are big-time Division I playeers. They have great size and quick feet. I suppose there was pressure on both, particularly on Cwynar because Marian Central's starting quarterback was injured and coach Ed Brucker was forced to use a wide receiver to fill the void.
Offensively, both did their jobs. Both have been recruited to play defense in college but I think both are better on offense. On Friday, they both did a good job of run and pass blocking and didn't allow a sack. They have potential to be All-America guards in college.
In the Suburban Catholic, which hardly compares to the Catholic League Blue or DuPage Valley, Goebel and Cwynar should be dominating players on defense--but they weren't on Friday night. Playing in 80-degree heat, they both seemed to be conserving energy while playing both ways. In the first half, Cwynar made two tackles, Goebel one. Neither rushed the quarterback, which they should be able to do in this competition. Both were single-blocked most of the time.
In fact, Montini's Northwestern-bound Chuck Porcelli did a good job against Cwynar, who couldn't do anything against him. Porcelli gave Cwynar more trouble than Goebel.
The best player on the field, in my view, was Montini's Wisconsin-bound Dex Jones, who stood out as a running back and linebacker. He is very athletic, aggressive and makes a lot of plays. He was doing what Goebel and Cwynar should have been doing.
Another player of note is Cody O'Neil, Marian Central's junior offensive lineman. He plays hard and will be an offensive lineman in college. He isn't quick enough yet to play defense. He isn't a dominating player at this point but he has good potential.
At the moment, I still rate Fleming and Filer as the two best players in the state. But which is No. 1 is too close to call. The No. 3 spot will go to Goebel, Cwynar or Illinois-bound offensive lineman Graham Pocic of Lemont. I'll reserve judgment until the end of the season, after I see them a couple of more times. But I am leaning to Pocic, a 6-7, 310-pounder with great feet and improved quickness who is productive on offense and defense. He will be an offensive tackle in college.