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Ohio State’s offensive line taking shape, Thayer Munford ready for dominant senior season

Ohio State has three returning starters on the offensive line, with two talented sophomores primed for the open spots.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 30 Ohio State at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The path to success starts in the trenches. That’s good news for Ohio State, who have three starters returning on the offensive line, along with two other experienced linemen to fill the spots vacated by the graduated Brandon Bowen and Jonah Jackson.

Leading the offensive line is guard Wyatt Davis, who returns to Columbus after opting-out of the 2020 when it looked like then Big Ten wasn’t going to play football at all. Next to Davis will be Josh Myers at center. Rounding out the returning starters is Thayer Munford, who has become a fixture at left tackle.

New to the starting lineup on the offensive line is Harry Miller, who will try and fill the void left by Jonah Jackson at left guard. Even though Jackson only spent one year with the Buckeyes after transferring into the program from Rutgers, Jackson made a big impact during his short time in Columbus. Miller did some some action in 13 of 14 games last year, which will hopefully help make it an easy transition into a starting role for the sophomore.

Stepping into Bowen’s spot at right tackle will be Nicholas Petit-Frere. The sophomore appeared in 14 games last year, which included one start when Munford was injured. Coming out of high school, Petit-Frere was the consensus top-ranked offensive tackle prospect, so there’s no doubt the redshirt sophomore has the potential for greatness.

In the unlikely event that the new offensive linemen don’t gel on the line, the Buckeyes do have some depth to turn to. We got a glimpse last year of just how much of a monster Dawand Jones, and he has the versatility to play either guard or tackle if needed. Matthew Jones and Enoch Viamhi are other options at guard.

One thing to keep an eye on throughout the season is if true freshman Paris Johnson Jr. sees time on the field. Johnson has already made some noise with his performance in his short time in Columbus, and should be the next in line to take over one of the tackle spots when they come open.

What has offensive line coach Greg Studwara excited is how Thayer Munford is entering this season. Last year was a bit of a struggle to start the year for Munford after a back injury didn’t allow him to participate in months of strength and conditioning training. Even though Munford came into the season healthy, he wasn’t in game-shape to start the year, and some of those issues were apparent early on.

Heading into his senior season, Munford is in a completely different place physically than he was to start the 2019 season. Munford knows he’ll be entering this season at 100 percent and he is ready to show just how dominant he can be. That’s bad news for opponents, since Munford says he is more powerful and he’ll be focused on finishing his blocks this year.

With a shortened season, as well as unfinished business after falling in the College Football Playoff semifinal last year, expect to see an improved Munford this season. The senior knows he has one last shot at a title with the Buckeyes. as well as only a handful of games to impress NFL scouts ahead of next year’s NFL Draft. Ohio State fans will see the very best of Munford this year as he closes out his Buckeye career.