The Breakdown: Offensive Tackles

One day after taking a look at the men who will protect the middle, we move outside for this edition of The Breakdown. OSU comes into the season with one entrenched tackle in J.B. Shugarts and one battle for a starting role, plus some young guys trying to figure out their spots in the pecking order.

76 – J.B. Shugarts
6-7, 297
Klein, Texas
Career: A member of the vaunted Block "O" recruiting class, Shugarts arrived at OSU from Texas as a five-star prospect who earned All-America honors and participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He played some as a freshman before suffering a shoulder injury. As a sophomore a season ago, Shugarts took over a starting role in the third game against Toledo and was the team's right tackle the rest of the way, save a slight injury that limited him against Penn State and Iowa.

Outlook: Shugarts turned in a solid sophomore season and is expected to hold down the right tackle spot as he becomes an upperclassman. He should continue to be one of the most athletic linemen on the team.

75 – Mike Adams
6-8, 300
Dublin (Ohio) Coffman
Career: The third member of the Block "O" class and another U.S. Army All-American, Adams enrolled at Ohio State to talk he could be the next Orlando Pace. Those are big shoes to fill, however, and Adams has seen sporadic playing time while battling injuries his first two seasons. He played in four games as a true freshman and then worked his way into the starting lineup for four straight contests a year ago before a knee injury sidelined him.

Outlook: Noted as someone who has needed to work on his aggressiveness, Adams looked improved in that regard and much more experienced during the spring. He seemed to separate himself in his bid to reclaim his role as the team's starting left tackle and figures to start there when the season begins.

Coach Comment: "All that time and effort that he put in the weight room developing his tall, long body has paid off. He'll continue to get stronger this summer. (He's) understanding more of what's going on and the ability to answer and fix a problem play after a play, not having to wait until you go back in the film room and say, ‘Oh, that's right.' " – tight ends/tackles coach John Peterson

55 – Andy Miller
6-6, 288
Washington (Pa.) Trinity
Career: A tight end upon arrival at OSU, Miller continued to add size to his frame and ended up making the move to the offensive line in 2007. He played some as a guard in 2008 then became the team's opening game starter at left tackle in 2009, starting the first three games. A nasty bout with the flu ended up short-circuiting the rest of his campaign.

Outlook: Miller has done his best to adapt to the offensive line and that work paid off with a starting role a season ago. This year, coaches say he's in a battle with Adams to start at left tackle, but he seemed to struggle in spring and may have lost ground. Either way, Miller can still expect to play in 2010.

Player Comment: "I have all the intentions of being the guy. The coaches will leave it at a competition until the first game, until the first play. I think it's going to be fun to watch it evolve."

79 – Marcus Hall
6-5, 321
Cleveland Glenville
Career: Another Army All-American and a four-star prospect, Hall earned playing time as a true freshman a season ago. He saw spot duty throughout the year on the banged up line and started at right tackle against Iowa while Shugarts battled injury.

Outlook: The fact that Hall played a season ago shows the OSU offensive staff likes his talent, but he figures to continue to be the backup right tackle behind Shugarts in 2010 unless injury intervenes. He can also play left tackle if needed but has rarely done so at OSU.

73 – Josh Kerr
6-3, 288
Strongsville, Ohio
Career: The brother of former OSU linebacker John, this Kerr first committed to Miami (Fla.) as a grayshirt before ending up as a scholarship player at Ohio State in 2006. He has seen mostly spot duty and special teams play as a Buckeye.

Outlook: Going into his final season, Kerr looks like a depth player for the Buckeyes.

59 – Sam Longo
6-5, 280
Spring Valley, Ohio/Bellbrook
Career: Longo was a bit undersized as a three-star prospect coming out of high school and always figured to redshirt, which he did last year.

Outlook: Coaches like Longo's athleticism but he still figures to be a project whose best bet is to play as an upperclassman. He'll provide depth for the Buckeyes in 2010.

78 – Andrew Norwell
6-5, 308
Cincinnati Anderson
Career: Norwell had a heck of a prep career, leading Anderson to a state title in 2007 and another title game appearance in 2008. His senior season was interrupted because of a broken leg, but Norwell was still a five-star prospect and earned a nomination to the U.S. Army game. He is also the brother of former Illinois defensive lineman Chris Norwell.

Outlook: It's hard to find anyone who doesn't project great things for Norwell, the No. 8 player in the nation among all prospects in his class according to Scout. However, not many people expect greatness in 2010 with talented players ahead of Norwell. The Buckeyes love to redshirt linemen, and he figures to need to pick up some tricks in pass protection given Anderson's ground-oriented attack, but he could play if the need arises.

Coach Comment: "Obviously we love him. He's a Buckeye and he has a chip on his shoulder. He loves playing the game. Getting a guy who's a big guy who can run and move and learn different positions is exciting." – Peterson

Committed for 2011Tommy Brown, Akron Firestone, 6-5, 300 pounds; Scout's No. 91 OT in 2011. Brown is viewed as a project by many but is a hard worker who projects well.

2011 Prospects – None.

Top 2012 Prospects Taylor Decker, 6-7, 250, Vandalia (Ohio) Butler; Kyle Kalis, 6-5, 305, Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward

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