Today’s Topic: Does Greg Studrawa Look For Versatility When Recruiting?
When college football coaches are out recruiting, they generally know what position they are looking at.
Sometimes a cornerback may be a safety, or a linebacker could be a defensive end, or maybe a defensive end will grow into a defensive tackle. But for the most part, coaches know when a linebacker is going to be a linebacker, a running back is going to be a running back, and a quarterback is going to be a quarterback.
Where there is less surety and predictability is on the offensive line.
There’s a reason why Ohio State head coach Ryan Day says he wants 16 scholarship offensive linemen on the team every year and not “six tackles, seven guards, and three centers.”
Sure, it’s nice to have goals for each position, but when coaches are projecting recruits, it’s more of a wish list than a guarantee. And much of the time it’s about where a player is needed rather than projected.
That’s why when recruits ask OSU offensive line coach Greg Studrawa what position they’re going to play, he tells them what he knows.
“A lot of the recruits ask me, ‘Where am I going to play?’ ‘I don’t know. You can play at this level, I know that,'” he said this spring. “It’s like Michael Jordan, he came in at left tackle. We had nobody at left guard. He came in, started as a freshman All-American. [Pat Elflein and Billy Price] left, Mike went to center.”
The same holds true with the 2019 freshmen. Ryan Jacoby came to Ohio State as a tackle and had only ever played tackle in high school. Within a couple of practices this spring, he was at guard because there was more of a need, and he fit the bill.
Branden Bowen has played guard and center. Josh Myers has played tackle, guard, and center. Having guys like that allows an offensive line to get their five best players on the field because Myers isn’t only a guard and Bowen isn’t only a tackle.
Ohio State isn’t necessarily looking for recruits who can play multiple positions, but the good ones can, and Studrawa knows that.
“When you can play, you can play,” he said. “I don’t try to, even through recruiting, earmark a guy. Now when he gets here, he may get more comfortable at a spot, but the fact that he can play multiple spots, if he’s one of the best guys, they all learn that. Jamarco [Jones] learned that, Isaiah [Prince] learned that going both sides, Pat and Billy were All-Americans at guard and center. So the ability to go do that allows you to get the best five players on the field and it develops versatility in those guys.“