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Ohio State’s offensive line has the pieces in place for success

Not only for 2019, but the Buckeye O-line may be set for years of dominance.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Texas Christian Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

“Although Studrawa can’t talk about the members of the 2020 Ohio State offensive line recruiting class by name, he can confirm he’s excited to see them in scarlet and gray in the future.”

— Marcus Hartman | Dayton Daily News

For the Ohio State Buckeyes, the offensive line has some stability. With the right tackle spot being the only real spot up in the air when camp started, things are looking good for a frontline that helped produce a record-setting passer in Dwayne Haskins and a 1,000-yard rusher in J.K. Dobbins.

In a report from training camp, Marcus Hartman of the Dayton Daily News got some answers from offensive line coach Greg Studrawa on the state of the unit—as well as for what the future holds.

Currently, the center spot has Josh Myers penciled in, while right guard has Wyatt Davis in the driver’s seat. At left tackle, Thayer Munford is recovering from an injury, and is splitting time with Josh Alabi. Left tackle shouldn’t cause too much concern, as Munford is a returning starter and Alabi is a senior. In left guard, the transfer of Jonah Jackson has made him a contender for the spot; and according to Hartman, a good spring has him primed to be starter when all is said and done.

The one spot on the line that has remained cloudy is at right tackle. With Isaiah Prince moving on to the NFL after a successful career at OSU, a vacuum has been left. But that void has to be filled, and it’s down to Branden Bowen and Nicholas Petit-Frere. Bowen is coming off an injury-plagued time at Ohio State, but is ready to get back to No. 1 form. But NPF, the No. 1 offensive tackle in the 2018 recruiting class, is ready to make his mark donning the scarlet and gray.

With the two-deep charts filled, depth is there for the Buckeyes. But on the horizon, there’s even more potential. The 2020 recruiting class has Paris Johnson Jr. leading the charge, with Josh Fryar, Jakob James, Trey Leroux, Grant Toutant and Luke Wypler also in the fold.

All in all, things are looking good for the current (and future) OSU offensive line.

“Yet neither Ryan Day or Lincoln Riley have felt comfortable enough to name their new QB as the starter after two weeks of camp. For the Buckeyes Justin Fields is a former five-star recruit who transferred after losing out to Jake Fromm at Georgia.”

— Stephen Means |

There’s been countless stories on the transfer of Justin Fields into the Buckeye program. But, he wasn’t the only major transfer at the quarterback position. Jalen Hurts moved to the Oklahoma Sooners after a successful run at Alabama that included SEC Championships and a national title.

A common denominator between the two is that both coaches, Ryan Day for OSU and Lincoln Riley for OU, haven’t decided who the starting QB will be. Already, we’ve seen the Miami Hurricanes name their QB1 in Jarren Williams, who beat out Tate Martell for the spot.

Camp is winding down and there’s only a handful of chances left for Fields and Gunnar Hoak to make their claim for signal-caller numero uno at Ohio State. In fact, we could know next week who will be the starter, assuming Day names his guy when camp concludes on Aug. 19.

While both Fields and Hurts were clear candidates to be starters, there’s still work to be done. Adapting to a new scheme, coaches, and everything in between takes time. On the other hand: Time is not a luxury either team has, as the season is just a couple weeks away.

Ohio State kicks off against Florida Atlantic on Aug. 31, and Oklahoma takes on Houston in primetime on Sept. 1.

“The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award recognizes the top offensive player in Division I football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell...In addition, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four-year college”

— Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award press release

Just when you thought the awards list were done, there’s another one that pops up. However, this award is a little more specific in the requirements. Nonetheless, a Buckeye still managed to make the cut.

Dobbins made the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award watchlist, and will be up against 41 others. The award goes to top offensive player in D1 football, but said offensive player must’ve been born in the Lone Star State and/or graduated from a Texas high school. In the case of Dobbins, he’s from La Grange (TX), and with the output he’s had since coming to Ohio State, he had to be a shoo-in for the watchlist.

Missed the latest Outside the Shoe podcast?

Last Friday, the latest edition of Outside the Shoe, a podcast focusing on OSU sports that aren’t football or men’s basketball, dropped. Women’s soccer was the focal point of the pod, with Meredith Hein and I previewing the season, as well as previewing the college soccer circuit.

If you want to listen to the episode—it’s about 10 minutes long—you can click here. If you want to share or subscribe to Outside the Shoe, you can do that by clicking on the embed below.

At 12:01 a.m. ET Friday, a new episode of Outside the Shoe will be released. This week, Meredith and I will be talking OSU men’s soccer.

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