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Cincinnati Bearcats Top 10: #8 Eric Lefeld

Eric Lefeld is just the most decorated offensive linemen in the history of Cincinnati Football. So just that.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

By his lofty standards Lefeld had a bit of an off year in 2015, he wasn't as dominate in pass protection as he had been in years past. He had a couple of lapses of concentration in blitz pickup which led to him giving up more sacks this year (five by my count) than he had in either of the last two seasons.

The one area where Lefeld got much better this year was his run blocking. As a converted tight end Lefeld has always been a bit on the light side for a left tackle. He doesn't have the prototypical look of an tackle with the massive lower body to anchor against bull rushers and maul defenders in the running game. Frankly Lefeld has always looked a little skinny for a college lineman, even though he is a legit 300 pounder and has been for a couple seasons.

He might have slipped a bit in pass protection, but this was his best season in the running game. The Bearcats ended the year with the 46th ranked rushing offense according to Football Outsiders S&P+ metrics. In 2013 UC ranked ranked 83rd in rushing S&P. The Bearcats posted a near 40 spot jump in their running game despite starting 6 different offensive line combinations and losing their top two running backs from the pre season.

Lefeld was one of the few UC linemen to start all thirteen games, but you would kind of expect that of a guy who has missed all of six starts since his red shirt freshman season, and just one start in the last three years. His consistency allowed the Beracats to completely turnaround their running game this year.

Eric Lefeld is the model of consistency for Bearcat offensive lineman and it is going to be extremely weird to not see the towering figure at left tackle wearing #71 anymore.