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An Appreciation: Michael Oher

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Sixth in a series honoring those who spent four years in the SEC -- for better or for worse.

If it's hard to guage the significance of an offensive lineman, simply consider this: Before taking a single snap in the NFL, Michael Oher is already the subject of his own Wikipedia page, a book and a YouTube tribute video.

Not crazy about the opening song, but there is something amusing about hearing Verne say "Snead" over and over.

While there aren't a lot of stats to cite about Oher -- such is the burden of writing about OLs -- he's one of the best linemen to come out of the SEC in years. A three-time All-SEC selection, two-time All-American and a winner of freshmen honors in both categories (Ole Miss bio), Oher almost wasn't eligible for this feature. He nearly left for the NFL at the end of his junior year at Ole Miss, then came back.

Of course, we still haven't gotten to "the story" of Oher: A black kid who, facing long odds, is taken in by a Christian school and then by a white family and takes advantage of the one true opportunity life sends his way. It was addictive to ESPN and other sports media, but unlike some subjects of soft-lens features, a looik at Oher's story was justified. He was truly the kind of kid you would expect to slip through the cracks, and he very nearly did.

That he even got to the SEC is a miracle; that he did so well there was no coincidence. He was always an athlete who just needed a chance.

Previous Appreciations:
QB Casey Dick, Arkansas
P Britton Colquitt, Tennessee
WR Dicky Lyons Jr., Kentucky
WR Mohamed Massaquoi, Georgia
WR Kenny McKinley, South Carolina