Today’s Topic: Is Josh Myers Ready For What’s Coming?
In 2016, Ohio State’s Pat Elflein won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center. The following season, Ohio State’s Billy Price won the award.
Last year, OSU junior Michael Jordan fell short of the previous standard, but still managed to earn First-Team All-American recognition. Following his performance, Jordan decided to forego his senior season with the Buckeyes and enter the 2019 NFL Draft.
His departure leaves a void at center, but it appears to be a void the Ohio State coaches believe can be filled pretty well in the form of redshirt sophomore Josh Myers.
“We were ready to have him play some center down the stretch for us and in the bowl game and move Mike Jordan to left guard,” head coach Ryan Day said this spring. “So we were ready to do that. He worked all season for that opportunity, but it never quite presented itself down the stretch for us. So this is a huge spring for him to go win a job. But there are a lot of guys competing for spots in there, so it starts today. We don’t have pads on, but guys are moving around with a lot of energy.”
In the recruiting circles, Myers was seen as a tackle. When he arrived at Ohio State, he was soon moved to guard. A year ago, he opened the spring at center and competed with fifth-year senior Brady Taylor for the job.
Each of Elflein, Price, and Jordan were moved to center from guard, just as Myers was.
What is it that makes a lineman a candidate to play the position?
“Athleticism and intelligence,” offensive line coach Greg Studrawa said. “He has to make the calls and do things just like the quarterback. So a guy might be able to snap and athletically do it, but if he doesn’t have the intelligence to make the calls and a total understanding of what you’re doing, he can’t play this spot.”
Any player smart enough to play the position also knows the examples set before him. Myers — or whoever wins the job — will be expected to be one of the best players at his position in the country. As a guy who touches the ball on every single play, there will be plenty of eyes on Ohio State’s center this year.
“Mike was under scrutiny all year long,” Studrawa said. “He had two back-to-back guys that were All-Americans. Two back-to-back Rimington Award winners. So all he did was get compared to those two guys. ‘Oh, Mike didn’t play very well.’ He was first-team All-American on five different teams. He didn’t play very well? Okay. They look at it in light of those two guys, they don’t look at it in light of him playing the position. So yeah, is there scrutiny? Yeah.”
And even though Myers is smart enough to understand the stage he is now on, Studrawa has taken the time to get him ready for the job and the expectations.
“Yeah, I told him,” Studrawa said. “I said ‘Look what’s going on.’ Because he knows every play, you start with the ball. Number one, you’ve got to get it to him. Number two, you’ve got to direct everybody to the right spot. And now he understands that pressure and he accepts it.”