Ohio State Football: Surprises on the offensive line

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29: The Ohio State Buckeyes take the playing field before the 82nd Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between USC and Ohio State at AT
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29: The Ohio State Buckeyes take the playing field before the 82nd Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between USC and Ohio State at AT /

There have been lingering questions concerning a key unit on the Ohio State football team. Four starters on the O-line have been named but questions remain.

Ohio State’s interim head coach Ryan Day finally met with the media on August 27.  He offered a glimpse into how season preparations are going and provided updates on projected starters.

I was intrigued when I read who would be the starters on the offensive line. Should Buckeye Nation be a little nervous?

With Thayer Munford budding in the spring, Isaiah Prince and Michael Jordan’s experience and the depth, I was anticipating the emergence of a dominating ‘Slobs’ unit, much like the one playing at the end of 2014.

Announcing that Jordan will be the starting center was not entirely surprising.  This move was being reported throughout camp, despite not having official access.

I am more concerned about what this says about Brady Taylor and Josh Myers who were supposed to be the candidates vying to replace Billy Price.

I have written that if Taylor were fully capable of being a starter, I believe Greg Studrawa would not have moved Price to center last year.

I did expect Myers to make the push. His name was not mentioned in the presser.

How about Malcolm Pridgeon? He was not better than Jordan, Demetrius Knox or Branden Bowen last season to earn a starting spot, but he did play meaningful snaps.

Maybe Pridgeon’s rise is like Bowen’s under the radar emergence last summer and Knox who quickly showed his improvement after Bowen was lost due to injury.

Pridgeon is starting for a reason and I am hopeful his development forced Studrawa to move Jordan to get the best five guys on the line.

With that said, I am a little shocked that the top two linemen from the 2017 class are not ready yet.  While their sophomore peers are starting in other roles, they are stuck fighting for playing time.

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Perhaps this is the result of better recruiting where quality players are challenged to crack the starting rotation.  That’s a perfect problem to have.  Depth has been a concern for two years.

What I do know is it did not take long for great players like Price, Taylor Decker and Andrew Norwell to become starters.

Others like Pat Elflein and Jacoby Boren had to wait longer so I am leaning toward Myers and Wyatt Davis needing another season to fully mature.

One thing is certain, if Jordan ends up becoming the Rimington Award winner, or even a finalist, then it is safe to say we need to leave Studrawa alone about shifting All-Big Ten guards into centers.

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For now, let’s hope the best five are starting on Saturday because the line needs to quickly gel as TCU and Penn State games are looming.