Morning Constitutional: What To Make Of OSU’s Search For Grad Transfer OLs

Ohio State football offensive line coach Greg Studrawa

Today’s Topic: What To Make Of OSU’s Search For Grad Transfer Offensive Linemen

On Wednesday, news broke that Virginia offensive lineman RJ Proctor was the latest graduate transfer lineman to be taking a look at Ohio State. Proctor joined Georgia Tech’s Parker Braun and Illinois’ Jonah Jackson as Buckeye possibilities on the graduate transfer market.

Combined with the news of fifth-year senior offensive lineman Kevin Woidke being granted a scholarship, it was suggested on our forum that this probably meant that Ryan Day was already aware that he was going to lose a lineman or two to transfer.

While a lineman or two may choose to leave, I don’t think the search for a graduate transfer is related to anything but current numbers as they stand right now.

Currently, Ohio State has 14 scholarships allocated to offensive linemen, with four of them going to freshmen that probably won’t be counted on this season. Four of the other 10 are interior linemen, unless Branden Bowen moves back over from tackle. It is therefor unlikely to be a coincidence that all three graduate transfer possibilities are interior linemen.

Yes, the Buckeyes could move a tackle or two over, but then they would have just lessened their depth at tackle. If they can get a transfer to do it instead, that seems like a much better idea.

I don’t think Ohio State is desperate for bodies or possible starters on the offensive line, but Ryan Day said they would use the transfer portal if it fit their needs. They will also use it because it is another opportunity to make the team more competitive.

“We want to recruit guys when they’re freshmen, sophomores, guys who want to be Buckeyes, build relationships over time,” Day said. “We don’t want to rely on [transfers]. However, since there’s been such a change with this transfer portal, grad transfers becoming available, we have to be able to adapt and look at those things in order to be competitive. At the end of the day what matters is winning championships.”

The Buckeyes should be fine up front with the offensive line that they currently have, but if they can add competition for a starting job, then that’s only going to make them better.

It only takes one weak spot on the offensive line to ruin an offense, and while Ohio State should be okay with their starting five, if they can add another player or two, it makes them deeper and more capable of withstanding an injury down the road.

I don’t think the search for a graduate transfer is about who may be leaving.

Rather, it’s about creating enough depth to handle the unknown. It’s about expecting the unexpected and preparing for anything that may come your way.

After all, to twist a quote from Louis Pasteur, chance favors only the prepared line.

14 Responses

  1. The “better” answer might be why S Alexander and James are not Division 1 head coaches. Obviously they know more than Urban Meyer and Ryan Day.

    1. OBVIOUSLY! Football isn’t a real complicated game, and it makes it equally obvious when certain coaches are being carried, for whatever reason. ….OBVIOUSLY.

  2. I would like someone to explain with real facts why Coach Stud should not even be here or be gone. Please, oh please tell is why?
    Did anyone see the offensive records last yesr and the previous years?
    Does anyone think ANY of this is possible without an excellent offensive line???
    Has anyone seen our win loss record over the last years coach Stud has been here?
    Have we had Remington winners and several all americans on our offensive lines with coach here?
    So please please just give us some valid reasons why this coach os called out here. And also please tell us why coach Meyer whom is among the winningest of all coaches ever brought this coach here and why Ryan Day keeps him also.
    Was coach Stud with is in 2014? Our winning the national championship?
    Did our o line improver greatly making that possible?
    Or was that just because we had great receivers?
    So please give us some facts or else just stop trashing coaches that truly have a record of excellence, backed up by other coaches that have records of excellence that not only hire them but retain them as well. Thank you, respectfully,

    1. No, Coach Studrawa was NOT with the Buckeyes in 2014. That was Ed Warinner.

      The offensive line NEVER have cleaned up their complete inability to NOT get flagged with far too many false starts and really dumb holding calls. When it happens so frequently that you can sit in the stands and predict them and make money betting on them…..THAT is a major problem. If the player is that undisciplined……….sit his ass. That, that simple “teachable moment” is NEVER practiced, and no loss of playing time doesn’t occur is a failure of the coaches responsibility.

      Pass blocking was “fairly decent last year, but the run blocking would have been suspect even for a middle of the pack mid-major program.

      His recruiting is probably the worst among the position coaches. EVEN Bill Davis could out recruit him. While you’re never going to land ALL of the blue chip IN STATE recruits for the offensive line, you damn well should be able to get the bulk of them. Blue chip players have designs on the next level, so they’re going to go to the best place to make their dreams come to fruition. Studrawa has a major problem delivering. I have no idea WHY he struggles at it, but it’s obvious that something in his processing and execution is lacking in a major way.

      An individual player playing at a high level helps the OLine, but there’s just so much he can do beyond his own responsibility. The UNIT has to work together on each play. Watching the roadkill run blocking in 2018 was painful to see. MANY times you could see Mike Webers frustration, and he had every right to feel that way.

    2. No, Coach Stud was NOT with us in 2014 – that was one Ed Warriner coaching that line. Coach Stud’s 1st year as a Buckeye was 2016. The offensive records last year came from a once-in-a-generation quarterback with a stable of VERY good receivers from the wideouts down to the running backs. The offensive line was only ‘passable’ (pun intended) in pass blocking and was below-average at BEST in run-blocking (see last year’s precipitous drop in rushing yards, but more importantly 3rd and 4th and short conversions via the rush). An outstanding running QB (J.T. Barrett) can cover a lot of flaws in run blocking and especially when your RBs aren’t getting 3rd and 4th and short so the QB pulls the ball and gets it (see Buckeyes the past several years). Won-loss record is irrelevant as that’s a team function/effort and not based on the OL. It’s “Rimington”, as in Dave Rimington of Nebraska for the award of best center in the country and like all other such awards is a beauty contest and not really indicative of anything else. He’s being called out because a) the numbers on the offensive line aren’t where they should be and there hasn’t been a mass-exodus of OL so he should have been able to predict that in his recruiting and b) the development of players, especially those NOT at the position of center, has been noticeably poor. Meyer brought Studs here because of his Ohio roots, primarily, and because like the OL itself quantifying how well an OL coach does isn’t easy, even from top-flight teams. Day kept him most likely because as late as Day decided he didn’t feel good about other options and because while Coach Studs is probably below average, he doesn’t outright STINK. Add in that there were other areas of more pressing need (on defense) and there simply wasn’t time to vet someone who might work out better. No, the 2014 national title was because of 1 above-average (in college) receiver, a great RB (Elliott), Ed Warriner’s OL, and a DL that for most of the year was under-rated.
      Those are all facts so have a nice day and have a mint!

      1. I think his post calls for “2” mints……………..and a cookie.

        1. I laughed hard when I hit send and then saw your comments, James.

          1. We are also now the OBVIOUS twins! Damn……… to be us!

  3. I would love for someone ( a retired coach, maybe) to write a detailed piece on the process of recruiting- how many coaches go to a recruit’s home for a visit? Does a HC dictate how many scholarships per year go to each position group? Do some HCs “blow off” certain position groups in favor of others? I’d also love to know the breakdown of an OL practice- how much is classroom? Run blocking? Pass blocking? Working under artificially stressful conditions (rain, noise volume)? Do linemen who demonstrate a tendency to false start, get practice to fix it? The OL’s poor play stood out last year (along with LB); however, it’s hard to blame the OL coach when SENIOR linemen continually false start, isn’t it? I’d just like to know how the sausage is made, I guess. One thing is sure: the 2019 team WILL need good line play to succeed

  4. Given that there hasn’t really been a flood of OL leaving, just a very steady flow, it makes me wonder about Stud’s recruiting of OL (why there haven’t been enough coming in). Couple that with giving up on RPO blocking and it says to me that he can’t/doesn’t coach flexibility in blocking scheme well enough and that, if true, is a problem.
    Minor quibble: clearly they ARE desperate for bodies, if not starters. You don’t play with your overall scholarship numbers if you aren’t and promoting a walk-on under these circumstances certainly does smack of desperation.
    I think it will be very interesting to watch the OL, both in terms of development but also overall numbers the next few years.

    1. Your quibble is well taken, but, in regards to Kevin Woidke, he’s actually played very good football for the Buckeyes, and he’s a senior. It’s not unusual at all seeing guys like him awarded scholarships, especially when they receive All Big 10 academic honors the previous 2 years, and 3 times awarded Ohio State scholar – athlete. That kind of dedication and “leadership” is worthy of a scholarship. I suspect Ryan Day would have done that with or without numbers of who was coaching the OLine.

      The question to me is, why in the name of glory is Greg Studrawa still on the staff. THAT is where the OLine problems start and end. From recruiting to developing his unit (individuals receiving awards are just good enough talents on their own) Greg just isn’t getting the job anywhere near done at a very high level.

      Offensive linemen may be difficult to predict developmentally, but NOT at the clip we’re seeing since Greg arrived.

      1. Wasn’t meaning to imply Kevin wasn’t worthy of a schollie, just that the timing in this case isn’t good.

        1. Yeah, the optics feels off, and, doesn’t instill much confidence concerning the level of play for 2019. I’m just pretty sure that Kevin getting bumped up to scholarship has been in the works since probably before the _ichigan game, if not earlier.

  5. I think your assessment is right. Going after grad transfers is a matter of competition, not numbers.

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