- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HOUSTON (AP) - Garrett Greenlea is 6-foot-7 and 300 pounds and almost certainly headed to Texas next season.

Yet his size is not what makes the Klein Collins High left tackle stand out.

“There’s a lot of big kids out there, but they can’t all move like he can, and I think that’s what separates him from a lot of the other guys,” Collins coach Drew Svoboda said. “He’s very athletic for his size. He just has great footwork and speed and ability to bend at the knee.”

Greenlea has always been a big guy, but his improvement has come thanks to the strength he has gained through hard work.

“He always had a big frame, but he needed to fill it out and increase the muscle mass on that frame and he’s been able to do so,” Svoboda said. “He’s extremely, extremely strong in the weight room.”

Greenlea played basketball and football growing up, but has since given up basketball to focus on solely on the gridiron. His coaches believe his basketball upbringing helped develop his coordination.

Svoboda loves Greenlea’s his consistency and has learned he can always count on him to finish his blocks. Though his work is in the trenches, a play where he left that area in a regional semifinal game last season is one that sticks out to Svoboda.

“He pulled on a reverse and was out in the open space and blocked a cornerback,” Svoboda said. “That’s probably the most athletic guy out there on the field and being able to do that when you’re 6-7, 300 pounds is pretty impressive.”

Svoboda has been looking to Greenlea to become more of a leader for his team, and as he enters his senior season, he’s finally embracing that role.

“This summer he’s really stepped up,” Svoboda said. “Right now in two a days he’s doing a great job himself by giving effort, executing, and his work ethic has really improved. When the other kids see that one of your better players is doing that, I think it speaks volumes to the rest of the kids.”