Thayer Munford won the starting left tackle job in fall camp for the Buckeyes last year as a true sophomore and played the position very well. He earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors from both the coaches and the media.
He missed the Rose Bowl with a back injury, however, and then also missed the 15 practices of this past spring football camp because he was still not ready to play.
Neither head coach Ryan Day or offensive line coach Greg Studrawa sounded concerned during March and April when talking about Munford’s situation, but any time somebody is missing time with a back issue, it is absolutely a concern.
Speaking with the media last week, however, Day rattled off some high hopes for his offensive line, and remarked that Munford was working out once again.
“I have high hopes for the offensive line, seeing the way they’re running around right now,” he said. “Thayer Munford is really looking strong right now and then when you when you kind of roll them all out there we have some guys who have a chance to be really good, and you know they’re all going to be kind of battling for spots.”
Even though the Buckeyes must replace four starters on the offensive line, the expectation is that they are more than capable of doing just that. And not just simply replacing those starters, because there is a belief that this group will be better than the senior-laden line from last year.
Those expectations are very much tied into the health of Thayer Munford, however, which is why Day’s revelation that Munford is looking strong is such significant news for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes have a number of interior line prospects to replace the departed Malcolm Pridgeon, Michael Jordan, and Demetrius Knox, but finding a new left tackle would have thinned the OSU depth chart quite a bit.
Without Munford, Ohio State would have had to replace all five starters on the offensive line. With his return, however, the Buckeyes have the anchor that will keep them from drifting into rougher waters.
“He’s doing great,” Day reiterated. “He’s moving around well. I say today he had a great workout.”
And when pressed further on whether he had any concerns that Munford would be ready for the season, Day didn’t mince words.
“I don’t,” he said. “No.”