Linsley Brings Unique Skill Set To OSU

With his verbal commitment to Ohio State, Corey Linsley brings a new skill set to the Buckeyes that is lacking amongst the current members of the offensive line. At least, that is what the OSU coaching staff is telling him.

Ohio State is hoping that Corey Linsley can break the mold.

Listed by Scout.com as a four-star offensive guard prospect from Youngstown (Ohio) Boardman, Linsley is ranked as the No. 10 player in the country as his position. The Buckeyes view Linsley as an interior lineman in the future, but it is his ability to play on the other side of the ball that excites them.

More specifically, it is the skill set he has showed while playing as both an offensive and a defensive tackle that has impressed the Buckeyes.

As a senior, the 6-4, 285-pound Linsley played on both the offensive and defensive lines for the Spartans, and it is that versatility that helped convince OSU offensive line coach Jim Bollman to recruit Linsley.

In doing so, he offered the Buckeye-to-be some interesting insight.

"Coach Bollman said he likes the idea that people think I could play on the defensive side of the ball because normally defensive linemen are quicker than offensive in linemen just in general," Linsley told BuckeyeSports.com. "He likes that because then that shows that we have an offensive lineman coming in who is athletic enough to play on the defensive line. He thinks that's one of the downsides of their offensive line, that the offensive line as a whole isn't as quick as they need to do and he thinks that a faster guy coming in would be great."

Linsley has been timed at 5.2 seconds in the 40-yard dash. His head coach, D.J. Ogilvie, said he was more impressive as a defensive tackle than as an offensive lineman during the 2008 season.

"I think he could play on either side of the ball in college," Ogilvie said. "This year he played better defensively than offensively. He's got great feet. That's why I think he played really well on defense. They're recruiting him as a guard right now, but (OSU defensive line) coach (Jim) Heacock said he'd love to see a film of him."

Linsley said he has primarily been complimented on his footwork by opposing coaches, an asset that helps him be an active offensive lineman.

According to Linsley, though, his senior performance was set during the summer. A case of mononucleosis set him back from a conditioning standpoint, and that affect his play on the offensive line.

Defensively, the excitement of playing a new position helped spur him to have a solid season there, he said.

"I should've conditioned more and that really hurt me on the offensive side of the ball," he said. "I just didn't have that tenacity in most of the games this year."

Whether he will play on defense in college remains to be determined. Linsley said he primarily talks to Bollman, but added that he has briefly spoken with OSU defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Jim Heacock.

"Coach Heacock, I haven't actually talked to him a lot about this," he said. "The only time I did he said if I ever get mad at Coach Bollman to come over on the defensive side of the ball."

Linsley is also still growing, with the potential to add another inch or two to his frame.

Given the choice between playing offense or defense, Linsley said he has no preference.

"I don't know," he said. "I like both sides. I hope I don't have to play both ways in college because I can't even imagine how hard that would be. I'd just like to play. That would be pretty cool to play defense."


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