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Offensive lineman Tegra Tshabola may not have won the job, but he’s a future star

Tshabola likely won't be Ohio State’s starting tackle job this season, but he is a superstar in waiting!

Ohio State Spring Football Game Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images

Every day from now until the start of the season, Land-Grant Holy Land is highlighting Ohio State football players that you should be watching this season. Check out all of our “Player to Watch” articles to get ready for the season opener against Indiana.

Tegra Tshabola is the future of the Ohio State offensive line. You heard it here first, and it needs to be said because somehow Tegra has been underrated by OSU fans and media alike.

For those who have forgotten, since 2019 Tshabola has been tied for the third highest-rated Ohio State offensive lineman behind Donovan Jackson and Paris Johnson Jr. and tied with Harry Miller. According to 247Sports, Tshabola was the 36th-ranked player nationally and the sixth-best offensive lineman in the 2022 class. Despite his elite status, he has seemingly never received the hype or the love that someone of his stature normally receives at Ohio State.

When asked about Tshabola over the summer, offensive line coach Justin Frye was quoted saying, “I thought he had a really good spring. He went from the inside (playing guard) to outside (playing tackle). So, Tegra’s a natural, man. He does some stuff and has some natural power that’s not even coachable.”

“It’s just the ability that God gave him and he got from his genes and his parents.” Frye continued, “So, he’s gonna have a really good career ahead of him and he’s put himself in a position to be a guy that can help us right now too. Because when he goes now, he goes. He’s special.”

With Johnson Jr. and Dawand Jones off to the NFL after the 2022 season, Tshabola, entering his second spring in Columbus, was inserted into a position battle for one of the starting tackle jobs. Many people were surprised he was in the running for a tackle position after being listed as a guard, but Tegra at 6-foot-6, 322 pounds should have always been at tackle. By all reports, Tshabola played well during spring ball and fall camp.

Despite not winning the starting job, he will be a very important depth piece. Recently, we learned that the starting offensive line will likely consist of Josh Simmons, Donovan Jackson, Carson Hinzman, Matt Jones, and Josh Fryar. It’s fair to assume that until Simmons transferred and won the starting left tackle job, Tegra was in position to be atop the depth chart opposite Fryar. Therefore, I expect Tegra to be the first offensive tackle on the field in a situation where someone gets knicked up, needs a breather, or the starters are pulled.

Ultimately, I think this is good for Tshabola. It is not ideal to have a second-year offensive lineman starting at Ohio State, especially when you have an inexperienced quarterback. Tshabola will go into 2023 as one of the top backups at tackle and guard. In a year or two he will battle Luke Montgomery to be first in line to replace either Simmons or Fryar when they head to the NFL.

Tshabola and Luke are the future at tackle, and when their time comes I would not be surprised if both are first-round NFL Draft picks. Despite Ohio State fans overlooking him, Tshabola is going to be a star for the Buckeyes one day, and getting to spend all of 2023 battling with Fryar, Simmons, and Luke Montgomery is only going to make him better. Be on the lookout — for the first time in a long time the future of the offensive line is bright!

Connect with Jordan on Twitter: @JordanW330