There are plenty of holes to fill on the Ohio State offensive line but the situation looks far more promising than it did five years ago.
In 2014 Ed Warinner had to completely rebuild the Ohio State offensive line as four starters had graduated. This year Greg Studrawa faces a similar task as four players who played most of the snaps last season at their respective positions have moved on.
However, the situation looks far more promising now than five years ago.
Coach Warinner had to hope former three star recruits and players who began their Ohio State careers on the other side of the ball could fill in the holes and provide some depth. That over-achieving unit became one of the best in the country in the run to the National Championship, but would anybody have laid money on that being the case in May of 2014?
Now a look at the offensive line situation as it stands now.
If Thayer Munford is completely healthy, which he is expected to be, the Buckeyes will have a returning left offensive tackle and a terrific backup. Joshua Alibi filled in admirably for Munford at the end of last season and he’s back.
Having the blind side solidified is a great start for coach Studrawa to build an outstanding line.
Graduate transfer Jonah Jackson is expected to win the starting position at left guard during fall camp but he will have to fend off junior Gavin Cupp and possibly another player I’ll get to later. Jackson was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten for Rutgers last season.
Josh Myers, the No. 2 offensive guard in the 2017 recruiting class, has made a successful transition to center and will probably be the starter. However, he will have Matthew Jones, the No. 1 center in 2018, breathing down his neck and Harry Miller is the top center in this year’s class and will be enrolling shortly. Either Jones or Miller could battle for a spot in the depth chart at guard as well.
Wyatt Davis was the top guard in the 2017 class and played well on the right side last season when Demetrius Knox went down with an injury.
Nicholas Petit-Frere was the No. 1 tackle in the 2018 recruiting class and Max Wray was ranked the 9th best. They will battle for the right tackle spot but this next player will make them earn it, and he could make the guards uncomfortable too.
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Brandon Bowen started the first half of the 2017 season at right guard before suffering an injury that has kept him sidelined since. He has completely recovered and reportedly played both tackle positions during the spring.
I have a feeling this 6 ft. 7, 315 pound senior will start somewhere along the line. If not, he would probably be the most versatile backup in college football.
You can see Urban Meyer didn’t leave the cupboard bare for Ryan Day when it comes to the offensive line unit. Unlike in 2014 when Ed Warinner was just trying to fill in the starting spots and find a little depth, Greg Studrawa may very well have backups who could start for most teams.
That’s why things look more promising for the O-line unit than five years ago. Buckeye fans hope it gels like that great of Slobs did.