Due to lack of development from previous offensive line classes, Ohio State was forced to start Michael Jordan, a true freshman, at left guard in 2016.
The same thing could happen again in 2017 with the Buckeyes sporting at least one opening along the offensive line — though if history repeats itself, it won’t be because Urban Meyer & Co. failed to recruit at a high enough level. It’ll be because the true freshman is that good.
Enter Josh Myers, a four-star (recently downgraded from a five-star) offensive guard prospect from the Dayton suburb of Miamisburg. Ranked as the No. 1 player in Ohio, the No. 2 guard in the nation, and the 54th-best prospect in the country by the 247Sports Composite, the 6’6, 306-pound Myers is already a bit of a viral sensation, grabbing internet headlines for various feats of strength that include bench-pressing 435 pounds and cleaning 135 pounds with one arm. Eat your heart out, Mickey Marotti.
Myers has high-profile football in his blood. His brother, Zach, recently completed his career as an offensive lineman at Kentucky. Myers’ father, Brad, was an offensive lineman at Kentucky in the mid-1980s, and his mother, Julie, played basketball at Dayton. But even with extensive family ties to Lexington, Myers’ status as a Buckeye was never in doubt. Back in January 2015, Myers committed to Ohio State just 12 days after the Buckeyes felled Oregon to win the initial College Football Playoff. Meyer seemingly never had to worry about Myers seriously looking elsewhere.
With the graduation of center Pat Elflein and right guard Billy Price apparently sliding over from right guard to fill Elflein’s place, it’s probable Ohio State will have just one vacancy along its offensive line in 2017. However, an alternative line of thinking would suggest that due to the up-and-down play of the Buckeyes’ offensive line in 2016, the possibility exists that just Price, an All-American, and left tackle Jamarco Jones, an all-Big Ten selection, are the lone returnees assured of starting spots.
Myers begins his time in Columbus with a higher pedigree than Jordan enjoyed, so while it’s unlikely that Myers’ first game action for Ohio State will come as a starter, this scenario coming to fruition wouldn’t come as a shock. At the very least, Myers will see the field as a backup right away and will almost assuredly become a regular starter as a sophomore.
Selecting Ohio State for his future was just in his gut. That’s just fine with us:
Josh Myers was one of the first commitments in the 2017 class and was one of Urban Meyer’s highest ranked recruits ever at the time of his commitment. His size (6’6”, 306 pounds) is noticeable right away, but he was often used as a pulling guard in a run-heavy offense at Miamisburg High School (OH), where he was a bulldozer. Although he was highly touted early on in the process, he fell dramatically due to a poor U.S. Army All-American showing.
As a run blocker, Myers might be one of the better ones in the country. He fires out of his stance, delivers a good initial pop and possesses a mean streak to finish blocks. He’s an excellent pulling guard who destroys everything in his path. The hole in his game though, is his lack of experience as a pass blocker, which was exposed during U.S. Army All-American practices. His feet were extremely slow, as well as his hands, and he was beaten with a variety of pass rushing moves with ease against the nation’s best competition. To be fair, he did not look comfortable as a pass blocker and that is due to his inexperience in that part of his game.
Overall, Myers was originally a tackle prospect, but was recently changed to a guard prospect after his poor post-season performance where his inexperience as a pass blocker hurt him. As of now, he will most likely start off as a guard until his pass pro technique improves, then he could kick outside to tackle. He has all the size and potential to be a great offensive lineman, but if his technique as a pass protector does not improve, he could find himself in trouble as his career moves forward. — Christopher Jason