Three members of the two-deep are gone from last season and the Buckeyes bolstered that group by bringing in five freshman offensive lineman. Urban Meyer spoke Monday about the difficulties of getting a freshman ready to play along the line, but reiterated that filling out the depth there is a top priority.
The assumption is that it is on the coaches to get those young players, not just the freshman but the four second-year players who have yet to see significant playing time, ready to fill in on the two-deep. While Ed Warinner is certainly the focal point for that, the incumbent starters are also key in that development.
Elflein seems to go full immersion in his teaching methods with the young guys. For the redshirt junior educating the new Buckeyes on Slob culture is just as important as anything done on the field.
“You have to teach them how to practice, how to study film, how to work out, how to take care of your body in camp, how to act around the facility,” Elflein said. “There is a certain way that we do all of that so we are teaching them and bringing them along with us. How we eat, how we watch film. If you have a young guy right there, this is how you do this, this and this. You have to teach them how to do that stuff.”
Considering all of the freshman offensive lineman came to Ohio State weighing at least 300 pounds, teaching them to eat is likely the easiest task.
Farris has been penciled in as the lone new starter, filling in the spot vacated by Darryl Baldwin at right tackle. With his spot perhaps the most precarious, it would be easy for him to brush off the teaching aspect of his job, but he said he finds it mutually beneficial – “making them better makes you better.”
With that in mind, Farris has a more focused, one-on-one approach that is buoyed by his versatility on the line.
“Everybody has a little brother,” Farris said. “Even if your little brother may not be your position, I mean I have played all the positions so I can pretty much help everybody with their things. When we go we make sure they line up behind us, know the play and see what we do. Then when they’re up I’ll stand right behind my position, make sure they know what to do, make sure he knows his calls and goes through it at a high speed, stuff like that.”
Remember those teachers you had that would be nauseatingly excited to be there every day? I have a feeling that’s Billy Price.
The youngest of the starting offensive linemen, Price said that for him it’s all about excitement. The redshirt sophomore even compared the process to parenting. “(Freshman Matthew) Burrell just got here two months ago,” Price said. “For him, to teach him and get him excited about it, because if you are excited about it, you are passionate about it. You want to do it and continue to improve.
“It gets them excited like, ‘I’m doing an ok job.’ It’s like a parent, you’ve got to continue to encourage your kid you can’t just beat them the whole time.”
Live the discipline up to Warinner, I suppose.