Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

OSU 2012 Depth Chart: Offensive Line

In most projects, you have a moment where you realize that there will be a challenge, an obstacle, or a difficult decision to make.  I was able to cruise through the defensive depth chart predictions for next year relatively smoothly, making only a couple of bold guesses along the way.  However, I have now come to the offensive line, and I am realizing, even more than before, that this should be the biggest competition on the team in Spring and Summer practices.  It is truly such a wide open race that almost anyone could earn a starting role, as opposed to the 2011 season where (removing suspensions) there were at least three players who were basically no-brainers to start, in Mike Brewster, Mike Adams, and JB Shugarts. 

In fact, those three players, who are now proceeding on to potential NFL careers, started a total of 109 games at OSU.  Our starting lineup in 2012 could very easily take the field in September with less than 40 college (offensive line) starts as a whole unit, or 9 less than Mike Brewster finished his career with.  I am still wholeheartedly optimistic about the upcoming season under first year coach, Urban Meyer.  However, if there is a spot (or 5) on this team that worries me, it is how little we know about the men in the trenches. 

Despite bringing in promising offensive line recruits in the 2012 class, barring injury, I don’t think that we will see a true freshman starter on the field next year.  We return a couple of players who received significant playing time last year, but will also have to test out a couple of new faces.  As of right now, I think that the right tackle position may be the most interesting battle for playing time.  Reid Fragel, a very recent move from Tight End to Offensive Tackle, will have a lot of work to do in learning the position and adding some weight, but he could put up a fight with Marcus Hall for that spot.  Either way, as long as both are able to pay attention to the calls and listen/watch for the snap, they’ll save us some yellow laundry on the field in place of JB “False Start” Shugarts. 

Obviously a lot can change between now and September, but the following are my predictions for OSU’s offensive line.

*Indicates incoming freshman

Left Tackle
Andrew Norwell (Jr.)
Antonio Underwood (So.)

Left Guard
Corey Linsley (Jr.)
Chris Carter (Fr.)

Brian Bobek (So.)
Jacoby Boren (Fr.)*

Right Guard
Jack Mewhort (Jr.)
Joey O’Connor (Fr.)*

Right Tackle
Marcus Hall (Jr.)
Reid Fragel (Sr.)

Other O-Linemen
Tommy Brown (So.)
Taylor Decker (Fr.)*
Pat Elflein (Fr.)*

Follow me on Twitter @ScarletandGame or @AJBorland

Tags: Andrew Norwell Antonio Underwood Brian Bobek Chris Carter Corey Linsley Jack Mewhort Jacoby Boren Joey O'Connor Marcus Hall Pat Elflein Reid Fragel Taylor Decker Tommy Brown

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