Oday Aboushi is returning for his last year of eligibility and seems sure to further cement himself as one of the best offensive line prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft.
At 6'6" and 310 lbs, Aboushi is blessed with the ideal NFL size and athleticism needed to be a great left tackle.
NFLDraftScout.com has Aboushi rated as the second-best senior tackle prospect in all of college football.
The versatile lineman just missed out on securing a place on Mel Kiper's top 25 prospects list.
Last year, Aboushi was named second team All-ACC and stood out against highly-rated teams: he had some very good games against Miami and Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Aboushi was also happy to answer some of my questions:
Colan Lamont: What made you decide to return for your senior season?
Oday Aboushi: I felt like I had unfinished business with the University as well as the team. I wanted to get my degree and felt like I can help take our team to a new level of success that it's been yearning for.
CL: Did you feel pressured at all to enter the draft?
OA: I did feel some pressure to leave school with all of my draft predictions, but I kept strong to my goals and decided to stay.
CL: Which round do you think you would have been drafted in had you declared, and do you think you can improve on it by returning?
OA: According to scouts, I would have been an early second-round pick. By returning to school, I'm most certainly getting better mentally and physically.
CL: You also played on defense in high school. Why was being a tackle a better fit?
OA: Tackle was just a natural, more comfortable fit for me.
CL: Have you ever struggled being so far from your home in Brooklyn?
OA: My first year, I missed home plenty of times, but my teammates, coaches and family helped me to stay focus and strong.
CL: Do you see yourself as a natural left tackle at the next level?
CL: What do you consider to be the most impressive aspect of your game?
OA: I've been told I'm athletic and have great footwork, but there is always room for improvement.
CL: Have you been trying to improve on anything during the offseason?
OA: Yes, I've been trying to improve all aspects of my game: run blocking, pass blocking, understanding defenses.
CL: Virginia lost some big players like Chase Minnifield and Cam Johnson, do you think they can be replaced?
OA: Those guys are hard to replace and were a big part of our team, but I have faith in the next man up and know that whoever it may be, they will get the job done.
CL: Are you taking on a bigger leadership role in your last season?
OA: Yes, I was elected captain and am doing my best on and off the field to lead the team in the right direction.
CL: Which game do you consider to be your best performance?
OA: Miami, Florida State and Auburn.
CL: Which team do you enjoy facing the most and why?
OA: The ACC is full of great teams and competition. Any Saturday you are to get a great competitor, as well as a well-prepared team.
CL: Which current/former NFL players do you admire most? What's your favorite NFL team?
OA: Jake Long and Joe Thomas. I'm a huge Giants fan.
CL: Which pass rusher has been the most difficult match-up for you?
OA: Florida State had some great pass rushers that loved to compete.
CL: After finishing 8-4 last season, what are your expectations for 2012-13?
OA: We want it all. We're going for ACC champs and a BCS bowl bid.
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