Two reasons why the Ohio State football team is comfortable with the offensive line

We all felt it was almost assured the Ohio State football team would add a transfer lineman after Spring practice. Yet, they didn't. Here's why.
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

After adding former Alabama center Seth McLaughlin in early January, the consensus was the Ohio State football team would almost certainly look to add another offensive lineman or two from the transfer portal.

This opinion grew stronger as spring practice progressed and it was apparent Ryan Day and his offensive staff were not happy with what they were seeing at right guard, where three different players were tried. So, why haven’t they added a transfer lineman? I think there are two reasons.

Reason #1

There are slim pickings in the portal. Taking a look at 247 Sports’ transfer portal rankings, you see that five of the top 22 players are linemen. But you don’t see another listed until #73 and, in all, only seven of the top 100 players are linemen.

When you take a deeper dive, you find that two of those seven are true freshmen who have never suited up for a college football game, much less played in one. Of the others, two committed to their new schools in December, one followed his head coach to a new school, and another transferred to a new school only to transfer back to his original school after just a few months.

The only one of those seven who hit the open transfer market was Lance Heard, formerly of LSU. But he never showed any interest in the Buckeyes. There just is not anyone available who can come in and compete for a starting job.

Reason #2

After being unhappy with right guard, Ryan Day and his offensive staff looked at the Spring Game tape and came away feeling there was someone who showed the ability to grow into the role of a starter. This is a line of thinking I’ve heard from a few insiders who cover the program daily.

When spring practice opened, sophomore Luke Montgomery was the odds-on favorite to win the job at right guard. But during the Spring Game, Montgomery took no snaps with the first-team offense. Those reps were all taken by last year’s starting center, Carson Hinzman, and Tegra Tshabola, who moved inside from tackle.

If I had to pick which of those two would win the job, I'd go with Tshabola. Eleven Warriors recently put out a report that details how the redshirt sophomore from West Chester, Ohio has completely changed his attitude, work ethic, and his approach to playing for the Buckeyes.

He seems to sense there is a real opportunity sitting in front of him and he is determined to take advantage of it. As I wrote in an article a few months ago, Tshabola is one of the players who needs to take a big step forward if this team is going to make a national title run in 2024.


Ryan Day and his staff look ready to roll with their current group of offensive linemen. One of the things I’m hearing is they are happy with the depth overall and the plan is to rotate linemen. The schedule is going to allow them to do this, especially in the first three games.