The Breakdown: Interior Offensive Line

Offensive line coach Jim Bollman has to be excited going into 2010 considering he could have All-Big Ten players at center and both guard spots. Justin Boren, Bryant Browning and Michael Brewster highlight this edition of The Breakdown, which also looks at the Buckeyes' young depth in the interior of the offensive line.

65 – Justin Boren
6-3, 320
Pickerington, Ohio/Michigan
Career: After an All-America high school career, Boren started his college work at OSU rival Michigan. After limited playing time his freshman year, Boren became the Wolverines' starter at left guard for all 13 games of the 2007 season. A coaching change at Michigan prompted Boren to transfer to OSU and caused him to miss the '08 campaign. He posted a standout 2009 for the Buckeyes, starting 12 games (he missed one with injury).

Honors And Accomplishments: Named honorable mention All-Big Ten in 2007 at Michigan before moving up to the first team a season ago. … Ohio State's Jim Parker offensive lineman of the week vs. Navy last season.

Outlook: Boren is expected to be one of the rocks of the OSU offensive line at the left guard position, a spot he locked down a season ago as both a road-grading run blocker and a dependable man in pass protection. Known for his intensity on the field, Boren should be in line for an excellent 2010 season.

Player Comment: "My first year here I ran the scout team. I couldn't play, so I didn't really get to learn the system as much. So last year I was learning everything. Now I've got a grasp on everything, and now I can really work on my technique and watch more film and do all that."

70 – Bryant Browning
6-4, 313
Cleveland Glenville
Career: An achiever both on the field and in the classroom – he finished No. 1 in his class at Glenville – in high school, Browning took a redshirt in 2006 then saw limited playing time a season later. With the only open spot on the line at right tackle going into 2008, Browning earned the job. A move to his more natural position of right guard in 2009 helped Browning become part of an intimidating middle of the line for OSU.

Honors And Accomplishments: Honorable mention All-Big Ten last season. … Ohio State's Jim Parker offensive lineman of the week against both Toledo and Indiana last season. … Was the Buckeyes' offensive captain against the Rockets as well. … Is a preseason nominee for the AFCA Good Works team, which honors those who excel on the field and in the community.

Outlook: Browning took some knocks among fans at right tackle in 2008 but still performed solidly. However, there's no question guard is his better spot, and he's penciled in at RG this year in what should be an excellent interior line for OSU. If Browning continues improving, All-Big Ten honors could be on the horizon.

Player Comment: "I just do whatever is asked of me. I try to do the best job that I can. I try to encourage the younger guys. This is my senior year so it's my last go-round. This is all I got. I want to leave it all on the line."

50 – Michael Brewster
6-5, 293
Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater
Career: Brewster committed early in the class of 2008 and became an unofficial recruiter of the standout "Brew Crew" class. He didn't wait very long for playing time, either, taking over as Ohio State's starting center four games into the '08 season because of injury. He hasn't left the field since, starting 23 consecutive games and becoming one of the faces of the OSU offense.

Honors And Accomplishments: Named first-team freshman All-America by numerous publications in 2008.

Outlook: Brewster gives Ohio State a third All-Big Ten candidate in the middle of the line. He has steadily gotten better in all phases since being thrust into the starting lineup early in his career and seems primed to put that experience to good use as the general in the middle of the line.

Teammate Comment: "Brewster is going into his third year starting and works real hard. He knows how to get the line organized." – Browning

77 – Connor Smith
6-4, 313
Cincinnati Colerain
Career: Despite coming to Ohio State as a highly touted five-star prospect and prep All-American in the class of 2006, Smith has seen only limited action. Smith first saw the field in 2007 and is part of the Buckeyes' field-goal unit while working as a reserve guard.

Outlook: Smith faces an uphill climb for playing time given how entrenched the interior lineman are ahead of him, but any injuries on the line could put the veteran guard into the mix in a hurry. He must be ready.

74 – Jack Mewhort
6-6, 288
Toledo St. John's
Career: After developing a reputation as a mauler while a four-star prospect in the class of 2009, Mewhort enrolled in January 2009 to get a jump on his Ohio State career. With OSU's stability in the interior line in last season, he took a redshirt while learning the center position.

Outlook: The center experiment looks over for Mewhort as he spent almost all of the spring working as a guard. With Browning, Boren and Brewster ahead of him, Mewhort figures to be an apprentice for another year – unless injuries come along – before being in the running for a starting spot in 2011.

Player Comment: "I'm really happy with (the move to guard). It's kind of a relief actually because the mental demands aren't as much."

71 – Corey Linsley
6-2, 298
Youngstown (Ohio) Boardman
Career: Like Mewhort, Linsley is a well-rated four-star prospect in the class of 2009 who took a redshirt a year ago. He got a lot of work – including some time with the No. 1 unit – during fall before taking the redshirt, then became the No. 2 center during spring

Outlook: Linsley looked like a talented but raw work in progress as a snapper during spring. He figures to keep on learning behind Brewster in 2010, but it would be interesting to see what would happen should the starter face an injury problem.

72 Scott Sika (6-2, 282): Sika is in his fifth year as a walk-on and made the travel roster last year, playing in five games. His knowledge of the system is crucial in both practices and games, and he's worked himself into a viable candidate for playing time in case of injury and in mop-up situations.

57 Chris Malone (6-1, 279): Another senior, Malone has stuck it out and provides the Buckeyes with depth along the line.

Committed for 2011Brian Bobek, Palatine (Ill.) William Fremd, 6-2½, 278 pounds; Scout's No. 1 C in 2011. A hard worker and tenacious, skilled player, Bobek projects as the Buckeyes' center of the future. He was OSU's top choice at the position in the class.

Chris Carter, Cleveland JFK, 6-4, 325 pounds; Scout's No. 28 OG in 2011. A three-star prospect, Carter got an early offer from OSU and didn't wait. He will bring size to OSU but doesn't figure as an immediate starter for the Buckeyes.

Antonio Underwood, Shaker Heights, Ohio, 6-3, 295 pounds; Scout's No. 16 OG in 2011. Underwood worked out on a steamy day at one of OSU's summer camps, showing he doesn't lack the motivation to be a standout. Another prospect that's a bit raw, Underwood will need to work on his body but will bring a good skill set.

2011 ProspectsAngelo Mangiro, Succasunna (N.J.) Roxbury, 6-3, 295; Scout's No. 5 OG in 2011. Aundrey Walker, Cleveland Glenville, 6-6, 355; Scout's No. 12 OG in 2011. Donavon Clark, Cincinnati Finneytown, 6-4, 300; Scout's No. 14 OG in 2011.

Top 2012 Prospects Anthony Stanko, 6-5, 300, Warren (Ohio) Howland

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