Football

Notes and Quotes: Updates From Justin Frye and Offensive Linemen

Ohio State football practice Dawand Jones

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State’s new offensive line coach Justin Frye and a handful of offensive linemen, Matt Jones, Dawand Jones, Enokk Vimahi, Zen Michalski, Luke Wypler, Paris Johnson Jr., and Donovan Jackson— met with the media on Monday.

Here are the highlights of what was said.

Justin Frye

+ Paris Johnson Jr. is “lethal in space at left tackle.”

+ On what he is looking for from his linemen, Frye said he is looking for base, bend, balancing, and burst. All great offensive linemen have that. It’s about blocking and tackling.

+ On the depth of the offensive linemen, Frye said players have to feel the physicality and the friction of playing with pads and it’s still early. But right now they’re identifying the younger guys who can creep up the depth chart.

+ The young tackles Jakob James, Enokk Vimaki, they’re all just working right now. It will shake out as things continue. But they are “working their butts off.”

+ They have to play the five best players. The more they see what players can do and the more comfortable they are doing more tasks, the better.

+ On being considered an intense offensive line coach, Frye said that’s the way to coach. They feel the passion and that he’s in there with them. They thrive off that. He played the position and the players like that and they like to get better. “They are craving coaching and teaching and getting better.”

Matt Jones

+ He loves Ohio State and wouldn’t transfer. It felt like home when he visited and he loves what Ohio State has to offer.

+ He is hoping to have a breakout year this year. “It’s going to be great.”

Zen Michalski

+ Last year he was in survival mode getting through but this offseason he took a lot of time to do endless drills, get better, and build his confidence. He wants to step up. He feels a lot more comfortable now.

+ On being the second-team left tackle, Michalski said it’s long, hard practices but it’s going well. He is trying to get better everyday and feels like he is owning that spot, which gives him a lot more confidence. The competition with the freshman there helps.

+ He is mainly working on improving his pass protection.

Donovan Jackson

+ The offensive line all competes as unit to keep C.J. Stroud upright and make sure TreVeyon Henderson hits his holes.

+ Paris Johnson Jr. is in more of a leadership role with the offensive line. “It’s kind of amazing how scary athletic he is.” He stays out on the field late and gets a lot of extra work in.

+ On feeling a responsibility as a starter this year, he said it’s more of a responsibility because he’s expected to play like a starting offensive linemen at Ohio State. Being able to hold the standard and improve the standard is what they expect. He has to be physical and get after it.

+ Enokk Vimahi’s mentality is “amazing.” He does almost everything right. Jackson learns a lot from watching him.

Luke Wypler

+ On working with coach Frye, Wypler said his experiences on both the East coast and West coast bring a lot to the game in both run and pass game protections.

+ On what was missing in the run game last year in some key moments, Wypler said they came up short but overall they led the country in yards per carry. “They are just getting better everyday and like everything in life, you never have anything perfect.”

+ On his NIL deals, Wypler said he doesn’t play a sexy position but he wants to work with companies he really believes in. He emphasized putting healthy things in his body this offseason and reached out to Lemon Perfect to get that deal. “It has been awesome for my diet.”

+ C.J. Stroud is a leader. He took a lot of steps to grow as a leader this offseason to be a leader in both the huddle and with the team.

+ He is excited to see what the defense brings this season. They are seeing a lot of different fronts early on in camp.

Paris Johnson Jr. 

+ On being at left tackle, Johnson said it’s been a great learning experience and it’s a lot of fun. He has been taking it one day at a time and trying to enjoy everyday. He’s excited for each opportunity he gets to improve his craft.

+ Zen Michalski has made great strides and has been impressive. He asks 1000 questions and does every rep, if it’s not perfect, he does it again. “He does the extra stuff and you can tell he really wants it.”

+ On working with coach Frye, Johnson said he loves his energy and how he connects with everyone in the room. “He gets the most out of each player.”

+ Dawand Jones’ focus and demeanor have changed. He is locked in and it’s all business to him. He doesn’t accept half-done reps. “It’s really showing on the field.”

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