clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ohio State’s Thayer Munford has grown up, on and off the field

Plus, the Buckeye men’s volleyball team was knocked out of the NCAA tournament.


“The fact that Urban Meyer and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa trust Munford to hold down a starting spot is incredible given how far he has had to come physically.”

-Ryan Donnelly, Land of 10

As is the case most years, Ohio State football has lost a good number of offensive line talent — either by way of the NFL Draft or graduation — but the “Next Man Up” philosophy continues to be the position group’s mantra. One of the storylines to come out of spring practice this year, was the rise of Thayer Munford.

Munford has done enough this offseason for coaches to consider him an early starter for the 2018 season, which will be a big responsibility for the tackle out of the 2017 recruiting class. As Donnelly notes in his fantastic profile of Munford, the Massillion product was one of the lowest-ranked members of that year’s impressive group of incoming freshman, but that hasn’t kept him from making up for that now that he’s in Columbus.

It’s fascinating that someone was able to overcome obstacle-after-obstacle and still find a way to succeed. Munford struggled with academics and his weight throughout his high school career, but he finally dedicated himself to changing that starting in his junior year, and the turnaround was pretty quick— although having an Urban Meyer mentee around you certainly helps too.

“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to our offensive line coach, John Mazur. We are truly blessed to have him on staff,” Moore said. “I think John’s connection really helped in [Munford’s] recruitment because John played at Bowling Green for Urban Meyer and Coach Stud. He was actually a captain for Coach Meyer. All the drills we do — how Mazur teaches inside zone, how he teaches our gap scheme — that’s the same way that Stud teaches them.

Munford has continued his commitment to a healthier lifestyle— on and off the field— in Columbus, and it’s no doubt helped propel him up the depth chart. There’s still plenty of competition left before Week 1 gets underway this fall, but Munford is definitely a guy you want to, and should, root for.

“I’m very proud of what they’ve accomplished, how they handled themselves, how they competed in this tournament and I think the future is very bright for Ohio State Volleyball. I’m really proud of those young men.”

-Ohio State men’s volleyball coach Pete Hanson, via Ohio State Athletics

Things were going well for the Buckeyes as they won their quarterfinal matchup against UC-Irvine in the NCAA tournament earlier in the week. Unfortunately, that would be as far as the2017 national champion men’s volleyball team would make it, after falling on Thursday night to the Long Beach State 49ers in the semifinals.

Ohio State finishes the 2018 season with an overall 25-6 record, reaching their third straight NCAA semifinals. The single-elimination nature of these rounds left little room for error for the Buckeyes, who ended up losing to the top-seeded 49ers in four sets (25-22, 25-23, 25-27, 32-30).

The All-American duo, Maxime Hervoir and Nicolas Szerszen, combined on the day for 33 kills, double-digit digs, and 18.5 points each. Jake Hanes was slightly less active on the ball, but carried a larger point-scoring load, claiming a match-high 21 kills and four aces.

It wasn’t how the team wanted the season to end, but after a three-year run of 89-10— plus the four-year record of 111-19 with Szerszen on the roster— the Buckeyes still have a lot to hang their hats on for what they’ve done to help propel the Ohio State men’s volleyball program to the top of the national hierarchy.

“Riding a seven-game win streak, Ohio State is set to battle rival No. 14 Michigan in Ann Arbor to wrap up the regular season this weekend.”

-Ohio State Athletics

History is not on the side of the softball Buckeyes, but hopefully their recent momentum can help lead them to a winning-series over rival Michigan. The Wolverines lead the all-time series 93-21, which is quite a ways from even being in the “not good” category. The tide started changing last season, when Ohio State hosted the series and finished with a 5-0 shutout win to end the season, but they’ve got another big hill to climb in 2018.

Michigan enters the weekend 41-9 overall, and No. 1 in the Big Ten with a 16-2 record against conference opponents. They did hit a bit of a snag earlier in the week when they suffered their first home loss of the season against in-state foe Western Michigan — but bounced back quickly with an 8-0 win over Michigan State.

The Buckeyes have spent the better part of the season fluctuating from ranked to not, and currently sit around No. 30 in the country. Ohio State is 33-11 so far this season, and ranks No. 4 in the Big Ten with a 13-6 conference record. The team is also 8-4 against Top 50 teams and claims 17 wins against Top 100 teams.

“The Ohio State baseball team travels to Illinois for an important three-game Big Ten series Friday-Sunday at Illinois Field.”

-Ohio State Athletics

Heading into this weekend’s series against the Fighting Illini, the Buckeyes sit at 28-14 on the season (9-6 in Big Ten play) and rank sixth in the conference— just one spot below Illinois, whose riding high with a 26-14 record (10-5 B1G).

There’s only three weeks left in the regular season and every series counts with so little time left to climb up the ranks. Ohio State sits at No. 47 in the RPI, with Illinois ranked No. 44. This marks the third week in a row that the Buckeyes will face a top-five conference opponent— previously upsetting Indiana and No. 21 Minnesota.

Beating some top-teir talent in conference is impressive, but so is being amongst them. As a team, the Buckeyes are among the top-five in several Big Ten offensive categories including No. 1 in RBI (263), No. 2 in runs scored (291), batting (.292), and hits (428), No. 3 in on-base percentage (.388), and fourth in slugging percent (.423).

Individually though, Noah McGowan is tied atop the Big Ten doubles (17) and RBI (49) standings, and is among the top-10 in six (!) other categories. Similarly, Dominic Canzone ranks No. 3 in the conference in runs scored (41) and hits (61).

According to Baseball America, OSU has had the fourth-best turnaround of the year, coming off of a 2017 season where the team finished 22-34. Head coach Greg Beals is also just four wins away from hitting the 500-win mark for his career, and could very easily hit that milestone before the end of the regular season.