When the 2017 season wrapped up in the Cotton Bowl, it was expected that Isaiah Prince would move from the right tackle spot where he had started for two years and take over left tackle following the departure of Jamarco Jones.
Prince was looking forward to it and saw it as a natural progression.
When the Buckeyes opened up spring camp, Prince was there at left tackle just as expected. When the spring game rolled around, however, Prince was at right tackle and sophomore Thayer Munford was at left tackle.
The reasoning that Studrawa gave was that Munford and redshirt junior Joshua Alabi were both more comfortable on the left side, so the decision was made to move Prince back over to the right side. The move wasn’t yet permanent, but it was leaning that way at the close of spring ball.
Moving or not moving based on the comfort of a young offensive lineman is not an unprecedented practice at OSU. In 2014 and 2015, Billy Price was Ohio State’s starting left guard and Pat Elflein was the right guard. In 2016, Elflein moved to center and Price moved over to right guard. Why did Price move to the right side? Because freshman Michael Jordan was more comfortable playing on the left side.
Price moved over because it was best for the entire offensive line. The Buckeyes responded by leading the Big Ten in rushing with 245.2 yards per game that season.
“And, you know what, it’s really all their attitudes,” Studrawa said of his offensive linemen this spring. “They want to play and they want to become great players. That’s the bottom line and again, that comes down from Pat, from Jamarco, from Billy. That attitude of Pat and Billy playing multiple positions. Our guys have no problem playing multiple positions and that’s how it should be.”
Studrawa admitted that Prince was eager to be the Buckeyes’ left tackle this season, but he was even more eager to be a part of the best offensive line possible.
Prince’s time at left tackle may have to wait a bit longer than expected, but if it results in the Buckeyes having a more cohesive unit this season, then that is all that really matters to him.
“Oh, he is [eager],” Studrawa said. “Isaiah wants to be the best – that’s the most beautiful thing about him. He learned that from Jamarco and he wants to be the best and he doesn’t care where he’s playing. ‘Coach, I want to be the best. I want to be the best I can possibly be and here’s my weaknesses in the spring. Let’s go attack these and get these done.’ And we did.”