Top 5 Men’s Offenses Heading Into Nationals

Which offensive lines in the Mens division scare their opponents the most?

There are lots of great offenses on display at the National Championships, but these teams have shown a higher level of skill over the course of the season. Check out the top five Men’s team offenses at Nationals.

There are other people that rotate in on these lines, but I’m picking the seven that I would consider the “top” line for each team.

  1. Photo: Jolie J Lang -- UltiPhotos.com
    Photo: Jolie J Lang — UltiPhotos.com

    San Francisco Revolver

Ashlin Joye
Beau Kittredge
Simon Higgins
Joel Schlachet
Robbie Cahill
Christian Johnson
Cassidy Rasmussen

Nathan White has filled in admirably for Beau for much of this season, but I don’t think anyone will be surprised when Beau trots out for the first O-point at Nationals. Simply put, this line is terrifying. It’s an absolute nightmare for ANY defense to match-up against. Beau and Higgins are gargantuan, Beau and Johnson are blindingly fast, and Joye, Cahill, and Rasmussen are three of the top ten handlers in the world.

This line is almost the same as last year’s plus Johnson, who ranks right up there with Tyler Chan as most impactful first-year players this season. And, much like the rest of Revolver, this line isn’t going to beat itself. They’re incredibly mentally tough, and the only way that a team will beat them (like Sockeye in the PEC final) is to capitalize on any and all mistakes they make.

If you’re trying to break this line, you either need to be ruthlessly efficient or profoundly religious.

  1. Photo: Alex Fraser -- UltiPhotos.com
    Photo: Alex Fraser — UltiPhotos.com

    Portland Rhino

Dylan Freechild
Eli Friedman
Jacob Janin
Eli Janin
Tyler Cable
Trevor Smith
Cody Bjorklund

Watch Rhino’s offensive line this season and you’ll notice that it seems markedly different than last season. While past iterations have loved the deep ball, this season the O seems more than happy working the disc up in a very (dare I say) Sockeye-ish manner. So what’s the catalyst? All signs point to the sole newcomer to this line, Eli Janin.

In previous seasons, the role of center handler on Rhino has been occupied by Chris Hancock. But with Hancock on the DL this season, Eli Janin has stepped in and not only matched Hancock’s production, but surpassed it. Eli Janin attended Oregon (like many on Rhino) and has built-in chemistry with Friedman and Bjorklund, both of whom he played with on Ego.

The chemistry shows–this line’s flow might be the best in the division. Captains Jacob Janin and Dylan Freechild have played together since high school, and Freechild, Cable, and Smith spent multiple years together on Ego. This line is young–the Eli’s are the oldest, yet only graduated college in 2010. If Rhino can keep this line together for subsequent seasons, Rhino beating Sockeye (as they did at Regionals) might become the norm.

  1. Photo: Paul Rutherford -- UltiPhotos.com
    Photo: Paul Rutherford — UltiPhotos.com

    Seattle Sockeye

Danny Karlinsky
Phil Murray
Matt Rehder
Aly Lenon
Zane Rankin
Ray Illian
Mario O’Brien

BJ Sefton’s shift to D-line is one of the most interesting personnel moves of the men’s division. For years, Karlinsky, Murray, Rehder, and Sefton have played together on offense and become known for their incredibly quick disc movement. The Sockeye D, on the other hand, relied mainly on the long ball, usually provided by Reid Koss or Nate Castine (among others).

Sefton’s presence on D could mean that Sockeye is trying to change their defense’s offensive strategy to mirror their offense’s. And that isn’t a bad idea, as Sockeye’s O is notorious for being difficult to slow down, let alone stop. Karlinsky is the quarterback, using his lightning-quick uplines and give-and-gos to gain power position.

Just like with most offensive lines, Sockeye’s isn’t exclusive to these seven. Mike “MC” Caldwell (who doesn’t seem to age) makes regular appearances, as does Adam “Chicken” Simon. Both are savvy veterans that complement the youth of Murray, Rehdar, and Rankin nicely. Speaking of Rankin, I’ll gush for a second. There aren’t a lot of young players that can replace BJ Sefton on a line and make the change negligible. Rankin has done just that.

Crazy athletic and a menace in the air, Rankin is a more-than acceptable replacement for Sefton.

Photo: Alex Fraser -- UltiPhotos.com
Photo: Alex Fraser — UltiPhotos.com
  1. Washington DC Truck Stop

Jeff Wodatch
Nicky Spiva
Alan Kolick
Peter Prial
Seth Wiggins
Tom Doi
Jonathan Neeley

Kolick, Wodatch, Doi, Neeley, and Prial. Those five were the core of a fantastically skilled offense last season, one that helped them qualify for the the 2015 Pro Flight. There aren’t a lot of players that can come in and immediately make that line better. Truck Stop somehow managed to get two.

While Seth Wiggins missed the PFF, he looked great at the US Open, showcasing why he’s been one of the best players in the world for a decade. But Nicky Spiva is the real prize here. The former Worlds/NexGen/Chain dynamo has been a stud for Truck this season, occupying more of a hybrid role as opposed to strictly cutting (as he’s done in the past). His target, more often than not, is Peter Prial.

And even though Prial missed the PFF this year, Truck’s O-line maintained their dominant way in no small part due to inspired play by rookie Tyler Monroe. Monroe, a junior at George Washington University this year, comes from the Seattle Fryz pipeline. He’s been unbelievably good this year in replacement of Prial, so much so that he is now seeing regular rotation. Expect big things from him this college season.

  1. Photo: Jolie J Lang -- Ultiphotos.com
    Photo: Jolie J Lang — Ultiphotos.com

    Boston Ironside

Tyler Chan
Josh Markette
Danny Clark
Alex Kapinos
Tom Annen
Will Neff
Jake Taylor

Although a multitude of talented players departed Ironside this season, a large majority of them (Stubbs, Wallack, Babbitt, etc.) were defensive players. The big departures from last year’s O are Brandon “Muffin” Malecek (traditionally defense, but swapped lines with Stubbs midway through last season) to Doublewide and Piers MacNaughton to Big Wrench. But the key pieces are still here.

Josh Markette is still one of the wiliest and most creative throwers in the game. Danny Clark is has unofficially taken over the title of most talented balding player–a prestigious position previously held by, among others, Josh Ziperstein. His hairline might be receding, but his play has not. He has, however, had some issues this season with injury, and has missed significant playing time at most tournaments.

Thomas Sayre-McCord and Mark Vandenberg have split time in that spot, and both have shined at times; neither are flashy players and neither are going to consistently make highlight-reel plays, but they both are dependable and skilled, and Ironside has to be happy with it’s O-line’s future should these two stick around.

Speaking of the future, Tyler Chan is it. Only just out of college, Chan has Thomson’s Gazelle speed, a comparison I only make because the Thomson Gazelle can maintain its ludicrous speed while zigzagging, much like Mr. Chan. Tom Annen rounds out the new additions and stands as one of most underrated players in the game today.

Neff, Kapinos, and Taylor are all still doing what they’ve done for years; they’re big, athletic, and good at ultimate.

  1. Charlie Enders
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    Charlie discovered ultimate his freshman year of high school after he was cut from all the other sports. He lives in St Paul, MN, and you can follow his bad tweets @Endersisgame.

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