Ohio State’s Open Right Guard Spot Down to Three Candidates

Ohio State Matt Burrell B1G Football Ohio State Buckeyes

One month ago, the competition at right guard for the Ohio State Buckeyes stood at seven names.

Redshirt juniors Malcolm Pridgeon and Demetrius Knox, redshirt sophomores Matt Burrell and Branden Bowen, and true freshmen Wyatt Davis, Thayer Munford, and Josh Myers were the seven candidates that the Buckeyes opened camp with.

That number quickly became four, as Munford stayed at tackle, and Myers and Davis weren’t quite ready to compete for the starting spot.

Speaking with the media on Wednesday, Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson revealed the three names that were now getting the last looks before a decision has to be made.

“Matt Burrell is in the mix,” he said. “We’ve had Branden Bowen, our offensive tackle, has played some over there and has looked good. And Malcolm Pridgeon. Those three guys.”

Burrell left the spring as the No. 1 right guard following a terrific close to camp. Now, it has been Bowen and Pridgeon who are closing late.

Matt Burrell played in every game last season, seeing extensive time on the offensive line against Bowling Green, Rutgers, Nebraska, and Maryland. Malcolm Pridgeon came to Ohio State as a heralded junior college transfer, but a knee injury cost him his season in 2016. Branden Bowen played in all 13 games last season as the team’s No. 3 offensive tackle. He also saw quite a bit of playing time against Bowling Green, Rutgers, Nebraska, and Maryland.

Speaking with the media four weeks ago, Ohio State center Billy Price didn’t know who would win the job, but did have confidence in Burrell if he ends up being the guy.

“I just know if I play next to him, we’re going to be okay,” he said.

There is still work to be done, however. The coaches want to see somebody emerge and take over, but they can’t wait too much longer before making a decision. Kickoff is just a week away, after all.

“I think we’ll see how the week of practice goes, if one guy goes the distance, or if it’s a little bit of a committee right now,” Wilson said. “But the position has come on strong. The receiver group and the offensive line group have significantly improved this camp, and the offense has had a good go.”

8 Responses

  1. Good thing the guy above is NOT the coach!! Kevin Wilson clearly stated in an interview that the offense doesn’t change for Haskins, and that he’s competed great and become much better with the rpo, mostly due to coach maroti increasing his strength! All of the Buckeye players and coaches rave about Haskins. The only thing he compares to Cardale is arm strength. His preparation, football IQ and talent will enable him to succeed. Urban loves him and wanted him to push harder last year for the backup spot… I believe I’ll trust Urban’s and Kevin Wilson’s opinion over an internet Vince Lombardi any day! #GOBUCKS

    1. It’s helpful when you actually read the cumulative comments concerning what the staff says. Haskins MUST operate in the scheme. Anyone thinks he’s in even Tate Martells league operating a read option attack has NEVER watched him in all the films, and there are loads of it available.

      I think I’ll take the entire breadth of information over media soundbytes from coaches who liuterally can’t say anything else.

      Coach Meyer is dangling a raw piece of meat out the window……….you better run and fetch it before some other poodle takes it away from you.

    2. FTR. Dwayne Haskins isn’t in the same league as Cardale Jones with arm strength. LOL. As a matter of FACT, Joey Burrow out threw Dwayne in the Spring with both distance AND velocity. NEITHER of them got within 7 yards of Jones standing who stood flat footed, no windup and no warm up and flat footed. Just a flick of the wrist is all it took for Jones to win that competition. Not even Troy Smith could compete with Cardale in distance and velocity.

  2. Looks like Knox is out. This was pretty much a do or die year for him if he is every going to be a serous contributor.

  3. I’m still nervous about this offensive line. Even with the departure of Pat Elflein this unit SHOULD be far and away better than it was in 2016. I’m just not sold on it happening. Looking at the roster there’s just no reason, and no excuse why this unit shouldn’t be deep and interchangeable as it’s counter parts on the defensive line. There is a lot of talent. If that talent isn’t developed any better than it was last year, it WILL prevent the Buckeyes from playing for a National Title. With Joey Burrow going down Wilson has got to have 2 entirely different offenses prepared. I personally love Haskins, but, he is NOT, regardless of what the staff will say, a fluid option quarterback. If something were to happen and JT Barrett can’t go we’re GOING to see a repeat of the ugly situation from 2015. They tried to force Jones into a read option QB with a gunners arm without altering the scheme to adapt his greatest traits. Burrow would allow a smooth transition if something unforeseen happened to JT. Haskins is square peg round hole. A gunners arm requires a change in route tree philosophy. Day might be able to adjust on the fly, but, I don’t think Smith can. Other than the surprise perfect storm after JT went down in 2014 and Jones taking CFB by complete surprise, Smith hasn’t proven to be able to operate a wider flanked route system that utilizes the quarterback to receivers strengths. There’s just nothing pro style with Smiths teaching methods. It’s all read option based.

    The offensive line MUST be better. With the requirements to play against the best defenses in the Country in the post season, if the offensive line continues its struggles from the last year and a half, their won’t be a playoff run for this team.

    1. You sound like a very pessimistic fan, relax. The O-line will be fine with whoever they put at right guard. And the offense will also be fine if Dwayne Haskins has to play. Stop worrying.

      1. Not in the least. It’s called personal observations. I’m not sold on Billy Price OR Prince, let alone right guard. It is what it is, but that doesn’t mean fans can’t express their feelings, even if it hurts other fans feelings. I come here because I like the way Tony writes. Doesn’t mean I agree with everything he says, or even the soundbytes spit out through various sources through camp. Pessimism OR optimism have nothing to do with it. OBSERVATIONS from the past games and comparing the many different versions and comments that come out through the staff and players.

        If you’re not interested in doing anything but being a yes man for the status quo, that’s fine, but, don’t associate your lack of interest in discussion with what other people might want to do.

        How do you know the offense will “be fine” if he has to play? Based on what? SOUNDBYTES from camp. Bam Childress says hi.

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