By Conrad Clowers
Herald Sports Writer
When you hear bout MVP’s, great plays, and impact players you tend to hear about every player that stands up before the snap, such as quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, linebackers, and defensive backs. You never hear about an offensive lineman as the best player on any team. There are no stats.
It was only in recent years linemen were given grades. Cordell Volson will never be named the MVP of the Bengals. He will not receive the player of the week. Volson is a rookie starter on the Bengals offensive line. All he has done is come from an unheralded college (North Dakota State), be selected in the fourth round, and unseat a veteran as the starter.
Volson has held his own. The Balfour, North Dakota, resident was a well kept secret coming out of high school. He had played nearly every position on his nine-man football team. Volson was only given offers from Wyoming and North Dakota State. He was overlooked by the Ohio states, USCs, and Alabama of the college football world. While at North Dakota State, Volson took advantage of his full time redshirting and missing during COVID as did everyone else. By the time the future Bengal left ND state, he had played 6 years. Volson was a standout as he received first team All-Missouri Valley honors. His play and skills got the lineman noticed by the Bengals.
They say better late than never. Never was never so true in the case of Cordell Volson. The Bengals decided to take a chance on the man from North Dakota State. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2022 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Once you get past the third round your chances of even making the team are about 50-50. Your chances of starting and making an impact are even less. Volson came in and took charge right away. He was so impressive that he unseated 2021 second round pick Jackson Carmen from Clemson as the starter.
Baptized by fire, Volson has improved with every game. He, along with Alex Kappa, Ted Karras, Lae’l Collins and Jonah Williams have excelled to the point where they have kept Joe Burrow upright and in contention for MVP. They are a marked improvement over last year’s underachieving offensive line.
Cincinnati is now at 9-4 and firmly in playoff contention after defeating the Cleveland Browns this past weekend. The team is playing its best football of the season and currently riding a five game winning streak.
For Cordell Volson, he continues to defeat the odds. A small school fourth round standout who went from blocking small school lineman to NFL all pros in the span of one year. The North Dakota State product may have a long way to go, but he has proven he is well on his way to a long solid NFL career.