The third of three New Year's resolutions for the 2024 Ohio State Football team

The Ohio State football team may have found a quarterback, but they still have other areas of the roster that need fixing.

Jack Sawyer
Jack Sawyer / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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"Any new beginning is forged from the shards of the past, not from the abandonment of the past." ~ Craig D. Lounsbrough

For those of you who may not be familiar with Craig D. Lounsbrough, Lounsbrough is a certified professional life coach and has extensive counseling experience with children and adolescents. Lounsbrough is also an ordained minister. While I may be wrong, I found his quote to be quite appropriate for a possible topic that I believe needs to be addressed by Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and the football program for 2024 - a focus on replenishing and rebuilding both lines of scrimmage for the Ohio State football team.

Part one of this series dealt with possible changes to the Ohio State coaching staff for 2024, while part two discussed adjusting the playing time of the backups and reserves. Here in part three, I will lay out some concerns, and potential remedies, as it relates to Ohio State's offensive and defensive lines.

3. Building The Trenches For 2024 And Beyond

One of the most iconic commercials of the 1980s was from Wendy's in 1984, with a simple phrase of "Where's The Beef?". I ask that question rhetorically, as I want any and all Ohio State fans to think of some of the players along the offensive and defensive lines in Ohio State football over the past thirty years who were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft- DT Dan Wilkinson, OT Korey Stringer, OT Orlando Pace, DT Ryan Pickett, DE Will Smith, C Nick Mangold, DE Vernon Gholston, DT Cameron Heyward, DE Joey Bosa, OT Taylor Decker, C Billy Price, DE Chase Young, and the most recent, with OT Paris Johnson, Jr.

Now think about the 2023 Ohio State Buckeyes. Yes, Marvin Harrison, Jr. was worthy of his trip to New York City as a Heisman Trophy finalist, but the reality is that Ohio State struggled all season long with their offensive line play, and was unable to consistently generate a pass rush with their defensive line against their opponents. When someone looks at the incoming recruiting class, there are only two defensive linemen. Where's The Beef, indeed.

I have laid out the concerns, both today and in my assessment of the 2024 recruiting class. Now let me get to some possible remedies.

The transfer portal offers immediate help, with so many linemen available. Last season, Ohio State was able to snag Josh Simmons from San Diego State after spring football had concluded, but the Buckeyes need to proactively find players who will be able to fully participate in winter conditioning and spring football practices.

Classes start on January 8th, so the clock is ticking. Ideally, Ohio State would be able to find two players who can come in and play - tackles are a premium, but getting a left tackle would allow Ohio State to move Josh Simmons out to right tackle, which is his more natural position, and kick Josh Fryar inside to right guard, which is Fryar's more natural position.

For a more long-term focus, and this is directed at both the offensive and defensive lines - the bare minimum of linemen Ohio State needs to be signing with every recruiting class is ten, with five for the offensive line, and five for the defensive line. Justin Frye and Larry Johnson, here is how you go about it.

The great state of Ohio is ground zero - I am sure you are thinking, "Hey Minnich, what a novel concept.". Here is my point - the last few recruiting cycles have seen Ohio State on a national basis recruiting the top players from across the country, only to be jilted at the last moment. Among the top players in the state of Ohio at defensive line and offensive line were players such as DE Brian Robinson, DE Elias Rudolph, and OL William Satterwhite. Robinson signed with Kentucky, Rudolph with Miami (FL), and Satterwhite with Tennessee.

Instead, the focus should be on getting the top offensive and defensive linemen from Ohio, or the Midwest, committed first. Once those players are fully on board, then the wooing and chasing of linemen from Florida, Texas, California, etc., can be engaged.

Think of it this way, and this may be rubbing salt in the wound - Michigan's offensive and defensive lines are chock full of starting players from the Midwest, like OL Trevor Keegan, OL Karsen Barnhart, DL Kenneth Grant, and DE Braiden McGregor.

Yes, the Wolverines have been good at adding players via the transfer portal, but they have also been good at developing players along their interior lines, and that is something the Buckeyes desperately need to improve in 2024 and beyond. Oh, by the way - Michigan signed offensive linemen Luke Hamilton of Avon (OH) and Ben Roebuck of Lakewood St. Edward, and defensive lineman Ted Hammond of Cincinnati St. Xavier, in case you were curious about the Wolverines' Midwest/Ohio focus for their 2024 recruiting class.

Next. Next story. Will Howard commits to Ohio State. dark

For all of the rule changes college football has seen over the years, the reality is that the game is won or lost in the trenches. For Ohio State, the Buckeyes need to get back to a "Where's The Beef?" focus if they want to get back to their customary perch among college football's elite programs.