Football

State of Buckeyes’ Offensive Line Good As It’s Ever Been?

Enokk Vimahi, Jonah Jackson, Greg Studrawa Ohio State Buckeyes

When Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa surveys the practice field, he sees a large number of his players who are capable of playing this season.

And not just playing, but playing without fraying his last seven nerves.

The Buckeyes have 15 scholarship offensive linemen on the roster, possibly over half of whom are good enough to start this year. Even with those numbers, they are still one or two shy of where head coach Ryan Day would like to be.

Ohio State has signed seven offensive linemen in the last two recruiting classes, and currently have six more committed in the 2020 recruiting class. Included in that 2020 recruiting class are the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle Paris Johnson and the nation’s No. 1 center Luke Wypler.

The numbers will eventually get to where Day wants them, but for right now, things aren’t really all that bad.

“I had a really good feeling I was gonna be as deep as we’ve been, and that hasn’t disappointed me,” Studrawa said this past week. “I’m right where I thought we’d be.”

Things appear to be settling in on the interior, where graduate transfer Jonah Jackson is at left guard, redshirt sophomore Josh Myers is at center, and fellow redshirt sophomore Wyatt Davis is at right guard. Davis closed the season out as a starter last year, and Jackson has 16 career starts and an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten nod to his credit.

Meanwhile, the talk of camp may be true freshman Harry Miller, who is currently the backup to Myers.

“I’ve never seen a young guy pick up on the offense as fast as he has, especially as a center,” Myers said. “Like it’s the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen. I’m not even playing. It’s really impressive.”

Fourth-year junior Gavin Cupp is currently the backup to Davis and redshirt freshman Matthew Jones is behind Jackson. Jones was one of the nation’s top centers in the 2018 recruiting class, and Cupp spent most of the spring with the ones while Jonah Jackson finished up his degree at Rutgers.

This is a deep and talented group of interior linemen, and the situation may be even better at tackle. In fact, it’s mostly because of the competition at right tackle between Branden Bowen and Nicholas Petit-Frere that Studrawa doesn’t have a starting five yet.

“Nope. Not yet. I’ll tell you, the competition is unbelievable,” he said. “I think there’s four tackles that would start anywhere in this league. Our inside guys, Harry Miller’s been unbelievable, Josh Myers is becoming a great player, working his tail off. His attention to detail is unbelievable. He’s becoming exactly what I thought he would become.”

And those are just the guys who are going to play.

Freshman guard Enokk Vimahi has been impressive so far this spring. Ryan Jacoby enrolled in the spring and gained some invaluable experience. He could play either guard or tackle down the road. Then there is Dawand Jones and his 6-foot-8, 360-odd pound frame as a true freshman. Some teammates consider him the best basketball player on the team, if that gives you an idea of how well he moves for a big man.

So you can understand when Greg Studrawa looks around his offensive line, and looks down the road as well, he says that the state of the OSU offensive line is as good as he’s seen it in his now four years at OSU.

“Ever. It’s as good as ever,” he said. “Because really we’re going to have Jonah leave and Bowen leave and [senior tackle Joshua] Alabi leave, and then look what’s coming in and look what’s backing up. I’ll tell you right now, if you’re watching, I don’t know how much you’ve been out there, but you’ve watched Harry Miller perform with the twos against our defense as a true freshman.

“Enokk came in here at 270, he’s 295 right now, and wow, does he look like a million bucks, and Dawand Jones, I mean you can’t miss him. He’s as big as a house. And he runs around — at 375 pounds — runs around like an athletic guy. And those guys, I can’t even get in the 2s to get reps right now. So yeah, and then with the guys coming in. I’m so excited about those guys.”

The Buckeyes have yet to play a game in 2019, so the jury has yet to return a verdict on just how good the current offensive line will perform. What Studrawa does know, however, is that his options are greater than they’ve ever been, which is how it should every single year.

“Yes, it’s absolutely awesome, but that’s how it should be. That’s how it should be,” he said. “You should have athletic young cats that are ready to go take over and take over. We had that happen for a lot of those guys that were here before that. Those guys are gone now. We’re building that depth to be exactly where it should be at Ohio State.”

2 Responses

  1. Sounds good and hopefully it’s true. If that’s the case then Fields should have no trouble breaking records and the Buckeyes should go undefeated this year as long as the defense keeps their end of the deal and barring injury. It’s a thankless schedule in many ways with a tough conference slate and nothing but punching bags in the out of conference part so it will take an undefeated record to impress the poll makers. Having an offensive line that’s “as good as it’s ever been” will surely help.

  2. Wow. If this is really true and not fluff…it will be the best news we could have imo. Was really worried about oline. With Dobbins and Fields and oline as described dare I say we might have a rushing attack like 2013 and not 2018.

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