The 2010s are coming to an end and we can’t help but reminisce about the memories that the decade brought with it— a national championship, four Big Ten titles, four head coaches, and some of the best to ever wear the scarlet and gray.
To wrap up the decade, we want to hear from you about who you think should comprise the Ohio State Buckeyes’ All-Decade team. From now until the end of the year, we will be going position by position and giving you the candidates so that you can decide who receives this honor more prestigious than a tree in Buckeye Grove, a pair of gold pants, or a ring so big that you have to carry a 10 pound weight in the other hand just to stay balanced.
You’ll be able to vote in the positional articles through Dec. 30 at 12 noon ET, and on Twitter for one week after the poll goes up. Keep in mind that since we are conducting part of the voting on Twitter, we are limited to just four options per position, so this is going to be tough!
Once all the votes are in for every position, we’ll reveal the final All-Decade roster on the final day of the 2010s.
Next up: Offensive Guards, and this is where things get weird. As you might recall, the trend for Ohio State’s guards over the last few seasons has been to have them play the position for a year or two, and then to move over to center for their final season with the program.
So, because of that, we have to be careful about what we use to determine what players will be a part of this category, and what players will be a part of our next category, the centers.
There will undoubtedly be overlap, but we think that it’s important to try and just consider their play and accomplishments while playing guard for this honor, and at center for that one. So, below, you will only see the years that the players actually played guard. Here are your candidates:
Andrew Norwell (2010-2013)
Andrew Norwell is the only Buckeye guard in our list today who did not move to center at the end of his OSU career. However, he did alternate between guard and tackle early in his time as a buckeye. Does that give him an advantage in the voting? That’s up to you to decide.
In 2011, his first year as a starter, he saw time at both guard and tackle, earning all-conference honorable mention status. However, as a junior in 2012, he settled into the left guard position and played more offensive snaps (862) than any other player on the team that season.
He was twice named to the All-Big Ten First Team in 2012 and 2013, and as a senior he was part of the line that helped OSU finish fifth nationally in rushing while setting new program records for points scored (637), touchdowns (87), touchdown passes (38), and yards per carry (6.8).
Norwell was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014, but in 2017 was a first-team NFL All-Pro and signed a new contract in the spring of 2018, which at the time made him the highest paid guard in the league.
Pat Elflein (2013-2015)
Pat Elflein was the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of Year, an unanimous All-American, and the Rimington Trophy winner in 2016, but none of that counts here, because that was when he was playing center.
Despite that, his three years as a guard were still pretty impressive. When he became a starter in 2014 as a sophomore it was at left guard, but after three games, he moved to the right side where he stayed for the rest of the season and all of 2015.
Elflein obviously was one of the anchors of the line that bulldozed Alabama and Oregon en route to the first College Football Playoff national championship. Then the following season, he was named a second-team All-American and a first-team all-conference honoree.
The former Buckeye was drafted in the third round by the Minnesota Vikings and was an immediate starter at center, however, for the 2019 season, he was moved to left guard, completing the circle of his positional changes.
Billy Price (2014-2016)
While this stat includes his time as both a guard and a center, there is no better place to begin with Billy Price other than the fact that he started an Ohio State football record 55 consecutive games during his time as a Buckeye, that was every single possible game, following his redshirt season in 2013.
This would be an impressive feat for any player, but especially for someone on the offensive line, a position group that generally requires a bit longer of an on-ramp to get players acclimated to both the physical and mental aspects of the position.
Like Elflein before him, Price was eventually an unanimous All-American, B1G Offensive Lineman of the Year, and Rimington winner at center, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t rack up some hardware as a guard.
He was a second-team All-American in 2016 and a two-time all-conference selection at guard (first-team in 2016, third-team in 2015). He too was a starter on the 2014 national championship team and was at guard for two seasons (2015, 2016) when the Buckeyes led the B1G in rushing.
Despite tearing a pectoral at the NFL Combine, Price was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round and was named to the All-Rookie Team following the 2018 campaign.
Michael Jordan (2016-2017)
Not only was Michael Jordan’s “guard time” cut short by an eventual move to center, but he is also the only player on our list who forwent his fourth season of eligibility to go into the NFL Draft early.
Like Price before him, he was an iron man of the offensive line. He started every game from 2016-18, and became the first Ohio State offensive lineman to start as a true freshman since future Hall of Famer Orlando Pace did so in 1994. He is one of only six Buckeyes all-time to start a season opener as a true freshman. For his efforts in 2016, he was named to the Freshman All-American team.
As a guard, he was selected to the All-Big Ten team in 2017, as OSU led the B1G in rushing for the third-straight year.
Again like Price before him, Jordan was drafted by the Bengals, this time in the fourth round.
Remember, since we are limited to four options on Twitter polls, some other great Buckeyes will get left out of some of these polls. If you want to tell us how wrong we are for leaving your favorite player out, or if you want to make your case for one of the candidates, please feel free to do so in the comments below!
Which Buckeye guard should be on Ohio State’s All-Decade team?
Who was Ohio State’s best offensive guard of the decade?
This poll is closed