Bank Blog: A Look At The Buckeye O-Line

Ohio State signed five offensive linemen last Wednesday, and that position group was clearly targeted for an influx of talent. Who's returning for the Buckeyes, and how will the newcomers fit in?

Ohio State brought in five recruits last Wednesday on the offensive line, and this was certainly a higher number than originally anticapted. 

The Buckeyes now have 17 scholarship offensive linemen on the roster, which is probably two bodies higher than they would normally want. How will it shake out? 

DEPARTED: Taylor Decker is going to be a high NFL pick, so it's going to be hard to replace him. Both Jacoby Boren and Chase Farris contributed to a lot of wins over their careers as well. 

CENTER: Ohio State received a huge gift when Patrick Elflein decided to return. His absence would only have added to the inexperience of the group. Elflein moving to center should not be an adjustment for him at all, and he is their best overall player. No worries with him. 

Brady Taylor: Will be the primary backup, but should Elflein be injured it's not a given that Taylor would step in. They could just shift guys around to get their best five on the field. 

GUARD: This position group is going to be interesting, because there are at least three players, maybe four, looking to take Boren's place in the lineup. 

Billy Price: Returns as a starter at guard, and he did not take the big step up last year people were looking for after a solid redshirt freshman year. Needs to be better this year with three new starters around him. 

Matthew Burrell: In the mix for the spot opposite Price, and we heard good things about his redshirt season last year. 

Demetrius Knox: There were mixed results from his second year in the year program, but he clearly has a chance to start this season. Could also play center.   

Evan Lisle: Has been in the program several years now, and this is make or break for him. He either grabs the job in the spring, or risks being forgotten going forward.  

Grant Schmidt: Still considered a project for down the road. Can also play tackle. Don't see him in the mix.

TACKLE: These two starters will probably determine just how successful this line will be in 2016, and there is a lot of uncertainty here. The loss of Decker is big. 

Malcolm Pridgeon: Is he a guy that is a plug-and-play tackle from Day One? If he is, then Ohio State is well on their way to solidifying their tackle spots. If he redshirts, things get looked at differently. Pridgeon is a key here, because he has game experience and advanced age.

 Jamarco Jones: As a very versatile performer, Jones can end up starting at one of the tackle spots, or could move to guard if a problem arises there. Jones played a little last year, and looks like a player. He will either start, or be the sixth man on the line.

 Isaiah Prince: The reports were glowing from practice last year, and it's hard to not be excited about Prince. Have to think he lands one of the starting spots, probably on the left side.  

Kyle Trout: Would seem to behind others on the depth chart, and is still looked at as a developmental player.  

Kevin Feder: Reviews were mixed from last year, and he still has not spent much time at the position yet. Looked at as a developmental player for down the road.  

Branden Bowen: Probably needs more time to develop at this point, but has size and good footwork. 

NEWCOMERS: Other than Pridgeon, I don't see any of the others being a factor this season.  

Jack Wohlabaugh: Will play center for the Buckeyes.

 Gavin Cupp: Could play anywhere on the line, but will probably start out at guard.  

Michael Jordan: Will start out at tackle. Will be interesting to see where he is on the depth chart in a year in relation to Trout, Bowen and Feder.

 Tyler Gerald: Will probably start out at guard, but could also play center for Ohio State.

OVERALL SUMMARY: Although there is a lot of inexperience with the offensive line, there is a lot of talent waiting to hit the field. I'm not as worried about this group as much as other inexperienced position groups. One of the keys will be going from one of the top O-line coaches in America in Ed Warinner to Greg Studrawa. To me, this is a big factor to consider this season, and a risky move by Urban Meyer. 

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