Jordan Fuller, Thayer Munford Out for Spring

Jordan Fuller Ohio State Football Buckeyes

In speaking with Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch on Monday, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day revealed that senior starting safety Jordan Fuller and starting junior left tackle Thayer Munford will miss spring football with undisclosed injuries.

Fuller is entering his third season as a starter, so he wasn’t likely to get overloaded with practice reps this camp anyway. His absence will allow for more opportunities for younger players looking to find a role on this Ohio State defense.

Munford started every game for the Buckeyes at left tackle last season as a true sophomore and played well. He is still a young player, so a spring camp against the likes of Chase Young and Jonathon Cooper would have been helpful.

In his place will be a number of competitors.

It was expected that fifth-year senior Josh Alabi and sophomore Nicholas Petit-Frere would compete for the open right tackle job, but now one of them will likely be working at left tackle. This will allow offensive line coach Greg Studrawa to gather more information when it comes time to make a decision.

Munford’s absence could also allow fifth-year senior Branden Bowen to get involved and compete for a spot. His versatility makes his destination difficult to predict.

In the secondary, meanwhile, with Brendon White apparently moving to linebacker, there is an open starting safety spot next to Jordan Fuller.

Fuller’s absence might actually be a blessing in disguise, as secondary coaches Jeff Hafley and Matt Barnes will now be able to look at more players in the same amount of practices.

Instead of competing against each other, now you may see players like sophomore Josh Proctor and junior Isaiah Pryor playing together on the same back line. Redshirt freshman Marcus Hooker and junior Amir Riep will also receive more reps now as well.

And we’ll see where redshirt sophomore Shaun Wade starts out.

Spring practice gets underway early Wednesday morning. The Buckeyes will practice twice this week.

8 Responses

  1. Both of these guys are good football players and both are expected back in shape and ready to go on opening day.Why risk making something more long term in recovery by redoing the basics? I have to agree with the article.

    Linebacker was the major fiasco last year. Without the middle of the field being on the same page and marrying the line and secondary, EVERYTHING is out of time and balance. I really suspect that at least 2 of those safeties who are beneficiaries of a new and more logical linebacker coach are going to get a chance to shine in Jordan’s absence. Get those guys all the reps they can handle. You watch. My money is on at least 2 more Brendon White’s “suddenly” appearing because Coach Washington will have his linebackers in sync, which will improve the timing and balance of all 3 levels.

    Munford looked ready to play from his first snap of practice. Like Jordan, he wasn’t going to do much in Spring camp other than being a voice of leadership and instruction for the younger players. Contrary to what a lot of people tend to believe when they hear that old saying about “mental reps,” they are just as important and essential to development as physical reps.

    No concerns at all about this.

    1. Hi James- I agree that both players are good (I’d call them essential, in fact). I also agree there is no sense in risking reinjury in Spring. These are accurate points that, unfortunately, miss the point I was trying to deliver- that surgery was “necessary” and “proper” of course, but NOT some sort of blessing or hidden benefit. It is NEVER “okay”/”not a concern”/actually good(!) when athletes have to be surgically repaired- regardless of the player’s status on the team, or chance of full recovery, or need. Do I hope like heck the recovery is full? Yep. Do I know players on other teams have procedures? Yes, I do. These facts still don’t make me unconcerned- both guys are missing the ENTIRE Spring allotment of practice. It’s not as if they’ve decided to change their jersey numbers or something like that. It’s unfortunate news about key players, no way to spin it otherwise. I hope like heck they recover and can minimize the lack of practice reps with new teammates (esp Thayer).

      1. I wasn’t being critical of your post at all Longtime Fan. I think there are salient concerns, especially on the offensive line, and for both players recoveries. I’m pretty sure that we agree that the offensive line has been sliding downhill since Studrawa came to Columbus, and it’s also why I agree with Tony that this “could” be a blessing in disguise. Not that it’s a good thing a guy is injured and CAN’T go, but that it’s going to force Studrawa, Wilson, and, Coach Day to have to seriously watch the progression of player development. MORESO than when Urban was in charge. Urban wanted auto pilot, Ryan Day doesn’t have that tenured deferment to work with. He’s expected to not just keep pace but to push the program to be even better.

        With Munford out it forces the staff to really pay attention and work to develop the guys. Day knows, even if he won’t say it, the line is going to determine how long he stays at Ohio State. If he fields the same level of slop we were force fed lat year, he won’t be in Columbus long at all. So to me, the forced attention to detail IS a blessing in disguise, not the players being injured. I didn’t read Tony’s point as being glad players were hurt.

        But we’re cool and on the same page.

  2. Looks like these 2 players went through surgeries this winter. So, a returning Captain and 2 year starter (“serviceable”??) is out, as is the only returning OL starter. Anyone else want to weigh in on the benefits of this news?

  3. Fuller is serviceable. I too think getting some other guys reps will be a very good thing.

    White to LB is an interesting move…I wonder how that goes over against Wisconsin, MSU, and other power oriented teams. As a package I can see white sliding down…as a base thing, it’s a bit concerning.

    1. If it is anything like Michigan’s defense — and it appears it will be — there will also be a normal-sized Sam linebacker employed at times instead of the hybrid Sam. Expect a number of different packages.

      1. Ummm michigan’s defense was pretty bad…it feasted on awful teams to push its ranking. But in reality, their D was not good and it showed. Not crazy about bringing michigan’s defensive philosophy to OSU. But anything beats Schiano’s philosophy so I guess it’s worth a shot…I guess

  4. Well, this isn’t the way to begin the Spring. As for Fuller’s absence being a “blessing in disguise”- um, no. There is no amount of spin that can make a positive from an injury to such a key player. We want him healthy, period. Swift recovery to both.

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