SAN ANTONIO - The theme throughout the high school career of Centerville (Ohio) offensive lineman Evan Lisle was that he just continued to get better each and every year. That was also true for the Ohio State commit down in San Antonio this past week at the U.S. Army All-American game where each day in practice, the 6-foot-5, 290-pound prospect seemed to step up his game. That culminated in an impressive performance on Saturday afternoon in a 15-8 win for Lisle's East squad.
"We got a great 'W'," said Lisle after the game. "We came back for it and it was great competition out there and we were just blocking and playing as a unit. It was fun to be out there playing."
Trailing 8-7 in the fourth quarter, Lisle and the East offense needed to make some plays and the line took it upon itself to make sure the skill players had time to make those plays.
"The O-line just came together and said 'hey we need to get these blocks'," he said. "That's what we did. We went down and got that 'W'."
Overall, Lisle enjoyed his time down in Texas and says he took a lot from the experience of going against some of the nation's best.
"It was just a great experience," Lisle explained. "I came in and it was just basically the biggest learning experience I've ever had. You go in against some of the best players in the country and it was definitely competitive."
Lisle credited his work against an outstanding East defensive line in practice for helping him get prepared for Saturday's game. Lisle and USC commit Jason Hatcher had some great individual battles throughout the week and even got into a couple of scuffles. The big tackle laughed it off and chalked it up to two competitive guys just getting caught up in the heat of battle.
"It was just competition," he said with a smile. "We definitely got at it a couple of times."
Lisle will head to Ohio State in the summer where he is looking forward to continuing all of the progress he has made from when he was just a 245-pound sophomore.
"I'm just looking forward to getting up there and getting better," he said. "I'm really looking forward to working with the coaches and my future teammates."
Givler's Breakdown from San Antonio:
A lot of positive things came out of San Antonio with Lisle. First off, he's up to 290-pounds and officially in the territory where there is no longer concern about whether he can gain enough weight and still keep his athleticism. Secondly, Lisle's footwork in pass protection was much better than anticipated. Centerville rarely throws the ball but Lisle showed that he could move his feet well in pass protection, which should ease those concerns as well.
Lisle also continued to improve throughout the week as he adjusted to the speed of the East defensive line. His best practices were towards the end of the week and that carried over into the game on Saturday where he performed at a high level. Lisle also continued to show that mean streak throughout the week, something that is nearly impossible to instill in a lineman.
I don't know that Lisle will be an impact guy as a freshman as the Buckeyes return four starters on the OL. He still needs to improve his technique, work on getting better extension and punching, and just continue to add weight and get stronger. After a year of learning, however, I could see him being a starter year two on campus.