Category Archives: Offensive Tackles

College Football: Week 4 Notre Dame at Georgia

#7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-0) vs #3 Georgia Bulldogs (3-0)

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NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH | INDEPENDENT

Coach: Brian Kelly

Notre Dame Players to watch

*Junior QB Ian Book (6-0/208)

Book is 11-1 since taking over as a starter. He has a 6-0 TD/INT ratio after the first two games of ’19. Last year, he proved to be a better runner than expects and this year, he is the team’s leading rusher with 23 carries of 127 yards. Book’s strength is his pocket presence. Notre Dame averages close to 40 points per game with Book under center. If his OL gives him time, he’ll test the Bulldogs’ secondary.

Senior MLB Asmar Bilal (6-2/227)

Bilal replaces the departed Dru Tranquill in the middle of the Notre Dame defense. Bilal bring an instinctual awareness to the position, along with a physicality desired by HC Brian Kelly. physical presence in the middle. Bilal is second on the team in tackles heading into the Georgia game.

Senior DE Julian Okwara (6-5/240)

There was a lot of talk this off-season about Okwara’s potential to break Justin Tucks season sack record of 13.5. However, Okwara and fellow DE Khalid Kareem are off to a slow start in 2019. Through two games, Okwara and Kareem have combined for just seven tackles, two tackles for a loss and one sack in two games.  If Okwara has dreams of being a first round draft pick, this is the game he needs to show his maple moxie.

*Junior RG Tommy Kraemer (5-11/200)

Kraemer moved over from right tackle to play inside at right guard. His ability to pass protect and keep Book on his feet will be one of the keys to his game. The line has 4 returning starters , with over 60 career starts. So, far the running game hasn’t gotten going, so opening some holes against this Georgia defense and eating up the clock will be part of a successful game plan.

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GEORGIA BULLDOGS | SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE

Coach: Kirby Smart

Georgia Players to watch:

*Junior LT Andrew Thomas (6-5/320)

Should Thomas declare after his junior season, he’ll be considered can’t miss first round pick. His ability to keep opposing defensive ends off QB Jake Fromm is this strength. This Georgia OL is one of the best in the country and should make a push at the Joe Moore Award (Nation’s top OL).

*Junior QB Jake Fromm (6-2/220)

Fromm took over from an injured Jason Eason in 2017. The true frosh had a solid season. He played well enough that Eason transferred to Washington State. Last year, Fromm put up another solid season, but was overshadowed in by the emergence of Trevor Lawrence and stellar play of Tua Taguvailoa. Georgia has several tough games on their 2019 schedule, Fromm getting off to a strong start against #7 Notre Dame would be good news for Bulldog fans.

*Junior DE RB D’Andre Swift (5-9/215)

Swift has over 350 yards from scrimmage in his first three games. With the departure of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, Swift is Georgia’s bell-cow in 2019. Georgia coach Kirby Smart recently said of Swift, “I think his biggest skill-set is making sure that other people are buying into the principles and values of the organization. … When Swift does that, that has a huge impact on the confidence of our team.” 

Senior RS JR Reed (6-1/195)

Since transferring from Tulsa, Reed has started 32 consecutive games at safety, showing a nose for the football (four interceptions, two fumble returns for touchdowns) and a hard-hitting style that has made him one of the team’s leading tacklers each of the past three seasons.

His father, Jake Reed, played a dozen seasons in the NFL as a receiver for the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints. He retired in 2002 with 450 receptions, 6,999 yards and 36 touchdowns.

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Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium – Grass
Sept 21 | Athens, Georgia

College Football: Week 3 Eastern Michigan at Illinois

Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-1) vs Illinois Fighting Illini (2-0)

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EASTERN MICHIGAN EAGLES | MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE

Coach: Chris Creighton

Eastern Michigan Players to watch

Senior RB Shaq Vann (5-10/215)

Look for the senior running back to put up some decent numbers in 2019; he’s currently on pace for 750 rushing yards and 25 receptions out of the backfield. In 2018, Vann led all Eagles running backs with 590 yards on 135 carries and totaled five touchdowns. In 2019, Vann was named a team captain.

Senior QB Mike Glass (6-0/212)

HC Chris Creighton prefers mobile quarterbacks. Glass is currently the team’s number two rusher, behind Vann. Last year, Glass played in 8 games, throwing for just over 1,000 yards.

Senior DOG/CB/LB Brody Hoying (5-11/203)

Hoying is the tempo setter on this year’s Eagle’s defense. He leads the team in sacks, tackles-for-loss; he has a interception and a forced fumble. In 2018, Hoying earned MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete and Academic All-MAC recognition.

Senior ROV/CB Vince Calhoun (5-11/200)

Voted to several All-MAC teams last year, Calhoun started all 13 games, accumulated 84 tackles, 2.0 TFL, one sack, and three interceptions on the year; he also earned a season and career-high 12 tackles at Buffalo (Sept. 15). He is currently second on team in total tackles with 16.

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ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI | BIG10 CONFERENCE

Coach: Lovie Smith

Illinois Players to watch:

Senior RB Reggie Corbin (5-10/200)

Running back Reggie Corbin hasn’t played since the first half of a Week 1 win against Akron after suffering a hip pointer. He traveled to UConn last week, and was dressed, but didn’t play. He returns to action vs Eastern Michigan. Corbin, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season, gives Illinois a big-play threat.

Senior QB Brandon Peters (6-5/220)

Peters, a Michigan grad-transfer, finally gives Lovie Smith a legitimate quarterback. Last week vs UConn, Peters completed 24 of his 35 pass attempts for 227 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. A good game this week will help him get prepare for a tougher test against conference-rival Nebraska next week.

Senior DE Oluwole Betiku (6-3/250)

Betiku is a grad-transfer from USC. He is off to a blazing start under HC/DC Lovie Smith. Betiku is leading the nation in sacks, he already has 5.0 sacks in only two games, along with 6.5 tackles-for-loss. “If you just look at his athletic ability, you assume he can rush the passer, too,” Lovie Smith said. “I’m anxious to see him take another step this week. The sky’s the limit.”

Senior RG Richie Petitbon (6-4/316)

Lovie also brought in Alabama grad-transfer, Richie Petitbon to bring some veteran leadership to the offensive line. The former Washington, D.C. prep standout, has helped Illinois average 380 yards per game so far in this young 2019 season.

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Memorial Stadium – FieldTurf
Sept 14 | Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

College Football: Week 3 Stanford at UCF

Stanford Cardinals (1-1) vs #17 University of Central Florida Knights (2-0)

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STANFORD CARDINALS | PAC-12 CONFERENCE

Coach: David Shaw

Stanford Players to watch

***Sophomore CB Paulson Adebo (6-1/189)

Stanford Cardinal cornerback Paulson Adebo (11) intercepts a pass intended for California Golden Bears wide receiver Vic Wharton III, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.
(AP Photo/John Hefti)

The redshirt sophomore from Mansfield, Texas, is one of the top DB’s in the nation. He is on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list; the Jim Thorpe Award watch list; the Bednarik Award watch list; the Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list; and has been named to the Associated Press Preseason All-America first team.

Junior QB K.J. Costello (6-5/215)

Stanford has quite the track record of turning out NFL quality quarterbacks. Costello looked to be next in line; however, he’s been off to a slow start in 2019. The offense has only produced 17, and 20 points in the first two outings. Look for Costello to exploit UCF’s decimated backfield and get himself back on track by putting up big numbers.

Junior TE Colby Parkinson (6-7/250)

Parkinson should have himself a career year in both receptions and yardage. A big, physical, target for Costello that can sit down in the zone, or run up the seem. He was one of the nation’s top talent’s coming out of high school, this should be his year to live up to that billing.

Junior OT Walker Little (6-7/313)

It wouldn’t have been a surprise to see Little declare for the draft after his junior season, but he’s injured and out for the season. He was one of the highest rated left tackles in the college game, with size and agility. In 2017, Little was Stanford’s first true freshman to start at left tackle since 2000 (Kirk Chambers). In 2018, Little protected the blindside of QB K.J. Costello, who finished with second-most passing yards in a season in school history. The line won’t be the same without him.

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UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA | AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Coach: Josh Heupel

UFC Players to watch:

****Freshman QB Dillon Gabriel (6-0/185)

Through two weeks’ Dillon has thrown five touchdown passes and zero ints. “I thought for his first time out there, being a true freshman, he managed everything and handled everything really well,” HC Josh Heupel said. “He was a good decision-maker in some of our run-pass stuff and did a good job in the pass game. Overall, pleased with what he did.”

Senior LB Nate Evans (6-1/241)

A leader on the defense, Evans racked up 99 tackles as a junior, with 2.5 sacks. He was also named All-AAC last year. He highlighted his season by scoring his first collegiate points on a 94-yard fumble recovery at ECU. In year two with DC Randy Shannon, look for Evans to put up even bigger numbers this year.

Senior DE Brendon Hayes (6-3/293)

Brother Martin product Brendon Hayes has been a key part of UCF’s young defensive line. Last year, he made 44 total tackles with 23 solo; recovered one fumble and recorded three sacks for a loss of 20 total yards. He was also named All-AAC Second Team in 2018. Hayes already has two sacks in 2019.

Junior FS Richie Grant (6-0/184)

Grant was UCF’s interception leader last year, earning First Team All-AAC, along with senior CB Nevelle Clarke. Clarke has been suspended for the first six games of the year due to a failed drug test; and with the recent injury to CB Brandon Moore, Grant will be asked to step his game up to another level.

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Bright House Networks Stadium – Grass
Sept 14 | Orlando, Florida

College Football: Week 3 North Carolina at Wake Forest

North Carolina Tar Heels (2-0) vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-0)

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NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS | ATLANTIC COASTAL CONFERENCE

Coach: Mack Brown

North Carolina Players to watch

Senior LT Charlie Heck (6-8/310)

Heck started all 11 games at right tackle, blocking for an offense that averaged 442.1 yards per game (31st NCAA), including 193.0 rushing yards per contest. A tenacious left tackle, Heck led an offensive line that allowed just 0.91 sacks per game (10 sacks/7th NCAA/2nd ACC).

Senior TE Carl Tucker (6-2/255)

Tucker is entering his senior year with the Tar Heels, coming off a junior season in which he caught 16 receptions for 265 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games. He started 6 games in his junior season, providing a big target for UNC quarterbacks.

Senior NG Aaron Crawford (6-1/315)

In 2018, during spring ball, Crawford tore his PCL and sprained his MCL as he tried to shed a block against a teammate. He returns with high expectations this season. In 2017, Crawford, started all 12 games as a redshirt sophomore. He recorded 29 tackles, three sacks, five tackles for loss and recovered a fumble.

Senior CB Cam’ron Kelly (6-1/215)

The NCAA declared the Auburn transfer eligible in 2019 – great news for the Demon Deacons. UNC DB Coach Dre Bly said of Kelly, “He’s smart being an offensive player, so he can see a lot of things on the field. He’s very versatile as a player. The minute he gets cleared to play, I can see him … having a role … on this team.”

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WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS | ATLANTIC COASTAL CONFERENCE

Coach: Dave Clawson

Wake Forest Players to watch:

Junior QB Jamie Newman (6-4/235)

The Wake Forest quarterback finished the 2018 season with more than 1,000 yards passing in just four games. This season, he seems to be picking up where he left off; through two games, Newman has completed 55 of his 74 passing attempts for 713 yards, with six touchdowns and no INTs: that’s seventh in the country through Week 2.

***Sophomore WR Sage Surratt (6-3/220)

Surratt will be an All-Purpose threat, receiving punts and catching deep balls from Newman. Surratt is N.C. state’s career H.S. record holder in receptions (366), yards (5,926) and touchdown receptions (80). He was voted N.C.’s AP Offensive Player of the Year after catching 129 passes for 2,104 yards, both state records, and scoring 28 touchdowns in the fall.

Junior ROV Luke Masterson (6-2/220)

Masterson played 110 snaps the first five games last season and 472 the last eight mostly because of an injury to Jessie Bates, now with the Cincinnati Bengals. Masterson had 42 stops and four pass break-ups for a defense that recorded 106 tackles for losses.

Senior CB Essang Bassey (5-10/185)

Bassey, the senior cornerback and team captain, has already consistently been one of the Deacons’ best defensive players for the past two seasons. In that stretch, he has four interceptions and 31 pass break-ups. He was a second-team All-ACC pick last year. He landed on the preseason watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (best defensive player) and the Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back).

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BB&T Field – Field Turf
Sept 13 | Winston-Salem, NC

College Football: Week 1 Wisconsin at USF

#8 Wisconsin Badgers (0-0) vs University of South Florida Bulls (0-0)

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WISCONSIN BADGERS | BIG 10 CONFERENCE

Coach: Paul Chryst

Wisconsin Players to watch:

Junior RB Jonathan Taylor (5-11/219)

Jonathan Taylor rushed for 2,194 yards last year.

Taylor was named a 2018 All-American and the Doak Walker Award winner – given to the best running back in the nation. In two seasons at Wisconsin, Taylor has already run for over 4,000 yards. With junior, Jack Coan, winning the quarterback battle in the spring, expect to see a heavy dose of Taylor early in the season.

**Sophomore TE Jake Ferguson (6-5/250)

Last season, Ferguson was a pleasant surprise in an offense that struggled to consistently move the ball through the air. He caught at least one pass in all 13 games and finished as the team’s second-leading receiver with 36 receptions for 456 yards and four touchdowns.

During the offseason, Ferguson bulked up to 250. He’s counting on the added weight to improve his effectiveness as a blocker without compromising his speed as a route-runner.

*Junior OC Tyler Biadasz (6-3/322)

Last year, Biadasz was considered by many to be the best player on an offensive line that saw David Edwards go to the L.A. Rams; Michael Deiter was drafted by the Miami Dolphins; and Beau Benzschawel sign with the Detriot Lions as an UDFA. Biadasz will be looking to take home the Rimington Trophy in 2019.

***Sophomore ILB Jack Sanborn (6-2/232)

Wisconsin knows how to turn out pro-ready linebackers. Last year, Wisconson sent T.J. Edwards, Andrew Van Ginkel and Ryan Connelly to the next level. Sanborn played in 11 games last year as a true freshman. This year, he will be expected to fill the shoes of those who played before him. Wisconsin’s highest rated recruit of a year ago, Sanborn should post 80-100 tackles in 2019.

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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS | AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Coach: Charlie Strong

USF Players to watch:

Senior RB Jordan Cronkrite (5-11/204)

Cronkrite rushed for 302 yards against UMass in 2019.
Photo: Athlon Sports

The former Florida transfer was on a roll late in the 2018 season with five consecutive 100+yard efforts. Playing behind what looks to be an improved offensive line, Cronkrite hopes to match, or better, his 6.1 yards per carry from last year. With OC Kerwin Bell’s “Play fast, score fast” offense, Cronkrite could put up double digits in the end zone too.

Senior QB Blake Barnett (6-5/217)

Barnett, originally signed with Alabama, is a transfer from Arizona State. With one year under his belt in South Florida, he should post better numbers in 2019. At USF last year, Barnett completed 61.1 percent of his passes for 2,710 yards, 12 touchdowns; and he ran for 301 yards and eight touchdowns. With a new OC in town, look for a healthy Barnett to put up ridiculous numbers.

Senior RT Marcus Norman (6-6/305)

Two-time All-AAC Marcus Norman will anchor an offensive line that is much improved from last year’s unit. Norman is a seasoned veteran in the trenches, he enters the 2019 season with 34 consecutive starts. The Sebastian product has shown his skills in the classroom as well, having been named to the AAC All-Academic Team twice. He has already graduated with a degree in Information Security and is currently working on his master’s.

*Junior CB Mike Hampton (6-1/185)

All-conference honorable mention cornerback Mike Hampton (Tampa) shined as a sophomore in his first year as a starter, ranking ninth nationally with 18 passes defended (1.4 per game). He also posted posted 16 pass breakups, which stand as the second-most in USF history; he tied for second on the team with two interceptions; totaled 43 tackles (35 solo), 2.0 tackles for loss, and one sack.

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Raymond James Stadium – Grass
August 30 | Tampa, Florida

Offensive Tackles: Final Position Rankings

2019 NFL Draft:  Top Ranked OTs

Williams, Taylor, and Dillard will compete to see who is the first offensive tackle off the board in the 2019 NFL Draft. The second tier has roughly six players in it – they should go in rounds two, three, and maybe the early fourth. Expects to see the rest of the class go rather frequently from the middle of the fourth to until the seventh round.

Jonah Williams has long been considered the top tackle in the draft.
Photo: David J. Phillips|AP

1. Jonah Williams, Alabama, 6-4/302

Williams has long been considered the best OL prospect heading into the 2019 NLF Draft. He’s not going to wow you with his test numbers, but he’s a genuine football player. He’s gone against the best the SEC has to offer year-in and year-out, game after game, and always held is ground. Should be an All-Pro with a little NFL experience under his belt. Anticipated to be a left tackle at the next level, but could also project at right tackle or even inside a guard – very versatile skill set.

2. Jawaan Taylor, Florida, 6-5/312

Most likely at right tackle or guard at the next level. Has really good mirroring techniques and sticks with his defender. A team whose priority is to improve their run game could have Taylor rated above Williams on their draft board – because that’s his strength.

3. Andre Dillard, Washington State, 6-5/315

Andre Dillard has the traits pass-happy NFL teams covet.
Photo: Washington State Athletics

Dillard was the best testing offensive tackle at the NFL Scouting Combine. His athleticism and light feet have pushed him toward the top of the board. Dillard will be a good fit for a pass-happy, wide-open, fun-and-gun kind of team – that’s his strength.

4. Kaleb McGary, Washington, 6-7/317

McGary’s strength is in the run game. Let him move forward and use his nasty aggression to maul defensive linemen. He’s athletic enough to projects at right tackle at the next level. He does have a prior medical condition that teams will need to check out before they select him. If all checks out well. McGary should have a bright future ahead of him on the field.

5. Dalton Risner, Kansas State, 6-5/312

Risner is, perhaps, the top senior tackle in the draft. He’s most likely going to be a right tackle. Showed good composure at the Senior Bowl, coming on strong after a bad start. Grew every day of the event, took well to coaching. Passionate and vocal leader. Capable of playing guard or center at the next level. Should be a day one starter.

6. Cody Ford, Oklahoma, 6-4/329

Ford is another player that’s a right tackle/guard prospect. He’s got the girth and strength to move defensive tackles, and he’s got enough agility to play in space. His strength is his aggressive run blocking. Oklahoma won the Joe Moore Trophy for best offensive line last year – Ford being the best of the bunch.

7. Max Scharping, Northern Illinois, 6-6/327

Scharping has most all the tools needed to play left tackle. He mirrors well and can direct defenders out of the play. He’s actually pretty strong with good agility and could find himself playing inside and out at the next level – at least until he lands a starting spot.

8. Titus Howard, Alabama State, 6-5/322

Titus Howard is perhaps the second best technician in the class behind Jonah Williams. He’s best suiting for a pass-happy team. Shows a nice kick off the snap and excellent mirroring skills to drive defenders out of the picture. Will need to improve his strength and may really bloom in his second year.

9. Greg Little, Mississippi, 6-5/310

Greg Little was once considered a sure-fire can’t miss prospect. He was a five star recruit, the top tackle in the nation. He has all the physical traits, but scouts question his desire and heart to be an outstanding football player. On film, he’s seen standing around too often – his interviews will be important.

10. Tyler Roemer, San Diego State, 6-6/312

Can be a dominating run blocker, plays with a bit of a nasty-streak. Shows solid technique. Had started the first 23 games of his career at left tackle, but was suspended for violating team rules prior to the Fresno State game and eventually missed the rest of the season. Has the tools. Will need to interview well to go this high.

11. Trey Pipkins, Sioux Falls, 6-6/309

Is the best of the small school offensive tackle prospects. Was a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award. He’s well built with prototypical size and length. Showed up at the East-West Shrine game, making scouts wonder how high his ceiling could be?

12. Chuma Edoga, USC, 6-3/308

Edoga is a prior 5-star recruit. He spent his career at USC playing right tackle. He was asked to play left tackle during Senior Bowl week and held his own. Since then, Edoga added 20 lbs. prior to his Pro Day, raising questions about his commitment to play outside at the next level.

OTHER PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:

  1. Olisaemaka “Oli” Udoh, Elon, 6-5/323
  2. Yosh Nijman, Virginia Tech, 6-7/324
  3. Jackson Barton, Utah, 6-7/310
  4. Isaiah Prince, Ohio State, 6-6/305
  5. Chidi Okeke, Tennessee State, 6-7/310
  6. Aaron Monteiro, Boston College, 6-7/320
  7. Justin Skule, Vanderbilt, 6-6/320
  8. Kyle Trout, Cincinnati, 6-5/320
  9. Brock Ruble, Toledo, 6-8/324
  10. David Edwards, Wisconsin, 6-6/308
  11. Paul Adams, Missouri, 6-6/317
  12. Dennis Daley, So. Carolina, 6-5/317
  13. Ben Powers, Oklahoma, 6-4/307
  14. Derwin Grey, Maryland, 6-4/320
  15. Mitch Hyatt, Clemson, 6-5/303
  16. Tariq Cole, Rutgers, 6-5/324
  17. Fred Johnson, Florida, 6-7/326
  18. Donnell Greene, Minnesota, 6-5/335
  19. Montez Ivy, Florida, 6-5/315
  20. William Sweet, No. Carolina, 6-6/313
  21. Ryan Pope, San Diego State, 6-7/320
  22. Devon Johnson, Ferris State, 6-7/338
  23. Joe Lowery, Ohio, 6-7/305
  24. Brandon Hitner, Villanova, 6-6/ 300
  25. Maurice Bibaku-Simba, Concordia, 6-7/323
  26. Marquez Tucker, Southern Utah, 6-4/291
  27. Damien Prince, Maryland, 6-3/315
  28. Brian Fineanganofo, Idaho State, 6-6/303
  29. Josh Doyle, Eastern Illinois, 6-5/300

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Team Needs:

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE |MIN | TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

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The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.