Speaking to the media after practice on Aug. 6, offensive line coach Ed Warinner pegged junior Jacoby Boren as the slight leader in the center battle. He didn’t make any projections about how the race might end but noted that Lindsay was still trying to get back into form after not being able to take part in spring practice.
“I think he had a little rust here the last couple days because he didn’t go through spring ball with Alabama,” Warinner said. “He missed some football from the end of their season. His last football was early January. I see a lot of good things out of him. He’s very smart, hard working, very committed and has good fundamental background. All the terminology and everything was new at a no-huddle pace which we run, and he was a little rusty, but I think he can come along.”
The fifth-year senior from Texas started four games for the Crimson Tide in 2013 and played a combined 12 games during Alabama’s back-to-back BCS national title years in 2011 and 2012. He came to Ohio State in the hope of finding more playing time but also understood that he would have to fend off Boren as well as versatile redshirt freshman Billy Price, who strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti has described as the strongest player he’s worked with.
When the notion was raised that Lindsay might be frustrated by having to fight for a starting job as a fifth-year senior, Warinner quickly shot it down.
“Oh, I don’t think he looks at it that way,” Warinner said. “I think he was excited to come to Ohio State. We told him when we recruited him to come here for this one year that there was an open job there and he’d have to come in and compete against a couple guys that have been here that are competitors, and he chose to want to do that. I think he’s had a great attitude about it. He’s done everything we asked. He loves being a part of this team and hopes he can make a contribution.”
Having already played for a nationally competitive program, the intensity of Ohio State’s preparation hasn’t been an obstacle for Lindsay. He noted that his experiences at OSU and Alabama were quite similar with one notable exception.
“The pace is the only thing that’s different,” Lindsay told BuckeyeSports.com. “At Alabama, we would huddle every play. Here you go up to the line of scrimmage and snap the ball and go again. That was a little bit of a change, but it’s been a fun change, though.”
The only other trouble he’s had has been a problem that he couldn’t control – January was the last time he had played football until he arrived at Columbus in June.
“It took me a few practices just to get back to the swing of things,” Lindsay said. “It had been a while. Since we’ve been through that, I feel a lot better now and feel like it’s coming back.”
On Monday, Ohio State began what Urban Meyer described as the toughest week of the year, with eight practices in five days. Going through three two-a-days over the course of the week will go a long way toward helping the staff determine who wins the starting center job.
“For him, he’s just trying to catch up a little bit learning our system and no-huddle football,” Warinner said at Ohio State’s media day on Aug. 10. “The last two days in pads, that’s what he’s done, and we’re expecting him to have a great week.”