Bank Blog: Early Look At The Offensive Line

Ohio State is closing in on the season opener, and fall camp only has one more week to run. Who has stood out at this early point in time? Let's look at the O-linemen.

ONE QUESTION MARK: Let's start at the top with Greg Studrawa. Does he have a great reputation as an offensive line coach? Yes, he does. Has he proven anything at Ohio State? Not yet. I KNOW what Ed Warinner did the previous years when all he did was coach the O-line, and that was be the absolute best in America. Can Stud be THAT good? He might need to be this year with only two players that have contributed at the college level. This year's O-line will need to be coached up, without question. Let's see what Stud can do, but right now he's a question mark to me. 

THE GIVENS: Pat Elflein and Billy Price have started a lot of games at Ohio State. Big games. The biggest games. To paraphrase the late Denny Green, "They are who we think they are." Sadly, there are only a handful of players on the entire roster you can say that about. Elflein is one of the top interior linemen in all of college football, while Price is more than adequate. This is a good foundation to build around. 

THE REAL DEAL PART-ONE: Looking down the road, Michael Jordan might leave Ohio State as the top lineman of the Urban Meyer era. He is going to be a high draft choice one day. He is probably going to start, and that is not by default, it's because he is supremely talented. But is he ready to dominate Oklahoma, Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan? As a true freshman? That's asking a lot in my book. 

THE REAL DEAL PART-TWO: Again, not sure he's ready to dominate the best in the Big Ten today, but at some point Isaiah Prince is going to be yet another high draft pick from Ohio State. He has all the tools, and all that's lacking is experience. The size and footwork is just something you don't see every day. How soon can Prince be a monster? Against Oklahoma? We shall see. 

THE REAL DEAL PART-THREE: Don't sleep on the talents of Jamarco Jones, and he has taken a big step over the past year. Big enough to dominate the schools mentioned earlier? Cannot answer that today, but he has a few years in the program under his belt. Jones is going to be another certain draft pick off this offensive line one day, but his best football will come after he has more game reps against great players. 

YOU NEED SEVEN: Most NFL and college coaches will tell you that seven offensive linemen that can play is the ultimate goal. Ohio State hopes they have five quality starters. Who would be next in line to play should there be injuries or poor performances? Ohio State would turn to Matthew Burrell and Demetrius Knox today should the need arise, and it's not too late for one or both to grab a starting spot this season. There is still time for others to jump into the mix, but after this coming Saturday that clock will be ticking on reps. 

THE INJURY: You hate to see it happen to any player obviously, but the injury to Malcolm Pridgeon more than likely has no effect on the product Ohio State puts on the field. The kid has a ton of God-given ability, but was just too far behind to factor into the depth chart this season. Get him healthy in a few months, and get him ready to contribute in 2017. 

SUMMARY: As it is with almost every position group on the 2016 Ohio State team, this unit is going to be very long on talent, but short on experience. Teams might be able to take advantage of Jordan, Prince and Jones this year, "MIGHT." We don't know. But if you do get the best of those guys this season, you'd better save the tape because it's not going to happen much in the future. 


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