[This is the seventh in our annual series where The-Ozone looks back on each member of the previous season’s freshman class and the impact they had as rookies, as well as the impact they could have during the upcoming season. Up next is offensive lineman Ryan Jacoby.]
Ryan Jacoby played his high school football at Mentor High School where he was a 4-star prospect and ranked the No. 23 tackle in the 2019 recruiting class.
Nationally, he was ranked the No. 283 player, while in the state of Ohio, he was the No. 7 player overall.
Jacoby signed with the Buckeyes over offers from Boston College, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon, Bowling Green, and others.
He was an All-State left tackle in high school.
Jacoby played tackle for his entire high school career, but came to Ohio State knowing that he could end up anywhere along the offensive line. At 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds, Jacoby was moved to guard not too long after his arrival.
An early enrollee, Jacoby was given time to acclimate to his new position, though it did not lead to any playing time in 2019. He redshirted, as most offensive linemen do.
Now What For Ryan Jacoby?
Every team needs versatile offensive linemen, and that could very well be what Ryan Jacoby is for this Ohio State team in 2020 and beyond.
While he plays guard currently, he has enough size to kick outside to tackle if need be. His mobility will continue to increase at a Buckeye, which could allow him to play anywhere along the offensive line.
Ohio State has relied on versatile offensive linemen forever, and just in the last 15 years or so there have been guys like Jim Cordle, Jack Mewhort, Billy Price, Michael Jordan, and Branden Bowen who have started at multiple positions throughout their respective careers.
The only way to get the best five offensive linemen on the field is for those five guys to be flexible, and that could be one of Jacoby’s strengths.
This spring, the Buckeyes will have five tackles competing for one open starting job and and six interior linemen battling for one open guard spot.
Jacoby could be competing this spring against classmates Enokk Vimahi and Harry Miller for Jonah Jackson’s departed left guard spot. Redshirt sophomore Matthew Jones and fifth-year senior Gavin Cupp will also be heavily involved. True freshman Luke Wypler will also be taking part. One of these guys will also need to be Josh Myers’ backup at center, however.
Then there is the possibility that maybe Jacoby gets moved to tackle.
The Buckeyes need to replace right tackle Branden Bowen, and they’ll be looking at redshirt sophomore Nicholas Petit-Frere, sophomore Dawand Jones, redshirt sophomore Max Wray, and true freshmen Paris Johnson and Trey Leroux.
Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa may feel the situation at guard is just fine, while feeling less confident about things at tackle. If that is the case, then perhaps Jacoby moves outside in order to increase both the talent and competition. With the lack of experience at tackle behind starting left tackle Thayer Munford and Petit-Frere, more bodies wouldn’t exactly be a bad thing.
Spring is a time of flux, however, and injuries can force some looks that don’t repeat once fall camp comes around.
Fortunately for Ryan Jacoby, he seems to have the versatility to handle the uncertainty.