Taking a look at the Ohio State offensive line
The Buckeyes have 19 offensive linemen in fall camp, but only 22 combined starts
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State opened camp this fall looking to replace four of five starters across the offensive line. That is not the most enviable task but fortunately for offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, he’s working with a talented group, just not an experienced one in terms of starts. This current o-line contingent has a total of 22 combined starts in a Buckeye uniform led by left tackle Thayer Munford’s 13. With no one other than Munford really entrenched in a spot yet, and a deep and talented group, competition this fall camp will interesting.
The Buckeyes have 19 offensive lineman in camp this August.
Josh Alabi – Fifth-year senior who is now in his third season on offense after initially playing along the defensive line. He has seen action in 24 games, including a start at left tackle in the Rose Bowl win over Washington when Thayer Munford was hurt. Alabi played a career-high 83 snaps in the win at Maryland last season and totaled 393 snaps as a junior in 2018 while playing in all 14 games.
Brandon Bowen – A fifth-year senior who missed the entire 2018 season while recovering and rehabilitating a leg injury that he incurred in Game 6 of the 2017 season Maryland. He earned the starting right guard spot at the onset of the 2017 season and held that role up until his injury.
Jonah Jackson — Joined the Ohio State football program in the summer of 2019 as a graduate transfer following a four-year career at Rutgers. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick by the coaches and media in 2018 for the Scarlet Knights, starting 11 of 12 games at right guard. Voted a captain by his teammates.
Kevin Woidke – A fifth-year senior and a two-time Varsity O letterwinner, Woidke initially walked on to the team in June of 2015. He played in 13 of 14 games last year for the Big Ten and Rose Bowl champions and has appeared in 25 contests over the last two years. Through his hard work, he was awarded an athletic scholarship this past spring that extended into the summer term.
Brandon Pahl – Is in his fifth season with the program. He joined the team as an invited walk-on in June of 2015. He is returning to the field this fall after missing spring practice with an injury.
Nathan Brock – Is in his fourth season with the program after walking-on in the summer of 2016. He redshirted his first season and has two years of eligibility remaining.
Gavin Cupp – A fourth-year junior who spent the majority of spring practice with the No. 1 offensive line unit. He played a total of 50 snaps from scrimmage in two games during the 2018 season and earned his first Varsity O letter. Gavin was part of the athletic department’s Huntington Bucks Go Pro summer internship program this year, working with the Student-Athlete Sports Services Office.
Thayer Munford — The lone returning starter on the offensive line in 2019. He started the first 13 games of the 2018 season before an injury cost him an appearance in the Rose Bowl. He has played in 25 of 28 games over the past two seasons. Munford helped lead an offense that broke numerous Ohio State and Big Ten records in 2018 and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors for his efforts.
Wyatt Davis – Entered Ohio State as one of the top recruits in the country in 2017. He redshirted his first season and then played in all 14 games last year, including starting the Big Ten Championship game vs. Northwestern and the Rose Bowl vs. Washington. He begins the 2019 season as one of the most experienced members of the offensive line, albeit just a sophomore in eligibility.
Josh Myers – Was one of 10 recruits from the class of 2017 to enroll in classes at Ohio State in January 2017 and thus has been part of three years of spring drills. He redshirted in 2017 and then was the backup to All-American center Michael Jordan in 2018. Myers has the size, skill and smarts to follow in the long line of standout performers at the position that includes back to back Rimington Award winners Pat Elflein and Billy Price in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Jack Jamieson – Is in his second year with the program after joining the team at the start of fall camp last season. Was a three-year captain and starter at one of the Ohio’s most successful programs: St. Ignatius High School. He played both guard and center along the offensive line for the St. Ignatius.
Chris Kuhn — Joined the Ohio State football program in the fall of 2018. The mathematics major was an OSU Scholar-Athlete in his first year with the team.
Matt Jones – Has taken part in spring practice each of the last two years after enrolling in classes in January of 2018. Redshirted as a true freshman last fall. He was rated as high as No. 41 in the class of 2018 on the ESPN 300.
Nicholas Petit-Frere – Redshirted last season as a true freshman and was an OSU Scholar-Athlete. He was the nation’s consensus top-ranked offensive tackle prospect in last year’s class. This past summer, Petit-Frere was one of five players who had an externship at the WWE Headquarters in Orlando, Fla. to learn about the ins and outs of the professional wrestling business.
Max Wray – Is in his second year with the program after enrolling in January of 2018. He redshirted last season. Was a consensus Top-100 recruit in the 2018 class and was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Ryan Jacoby – A true freshman, he enrolled early and joined the program in time for the start of the 2019 spring semester. He was Ohio’s No. 8-ranked player in the 2019 class. Jacoby was a two-time first team All-Ohio honoree and led Mentor to a runner-up finish in 2017.
Dewand Jones – A mountain of a man, listed at 6-8 and 360 pounds, Jones was a four-star prospect by ESPN and a consensus top-15 rated player – regardless of position – in the state of Indiana. He is a tremendous athlete for his size as he was a two-sport athlete who also excelled on the basketball court as well. He averaged 17.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game on the hardwood and had several DI offers.
Harry Miller — Was rated the nation’s No. 2-ranked center and the No. 37-rated prospect overall according to 247Sports.com in the 2019 class. Miller played guard, tackle and center for Buford High School which averaged 41.6 points per game in 2018 and scored 50 or more points four times. He was his class Valedictorian.
Enokk Vimahi — Was rated the nation’s No. 7 guard and No. 124 overall player by 247Spots.com in the 2019 class. Vimahi was a four-star prospect by every major recruiting service and the No. 2-ranked player in the state of Hawaii. Last winter, he took part in both the U.S. Army All-America Bowl and Polynesian Hall of Fame Bowl.
Zach Stevenson and Ryan Smith will also get back in the mix once classes begin on August 20.
Just the guy to lead them
Greg Studrawa, who returns for his fourth season coaching the offensive line, has already coached two major award winners – Rimington Trophy winners Pat Elflein and Billy Price – and three All-Americans at Ohio State: Elflein, Price and Michael Jordan this past season. His 2016 offensive line was one of three finalists for the Joe Moore Offensive Line Award.
- In the three seasons since Studrawa took over the o-line reigns, the Buckeyes have been second in the Big Ten and eighth nationally in rushing.
- In 2018, the team was third in the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed while setting Big Ten records for pass completions, yards and touchdowns.
No More Black Stripe
Urban Meyer brought a simple yet meaningful ritual to Ohio State in which all newcomers to the program wear a black stripe on their helmet and it isn’t removed until they have earned the right to be on the field. That tradition has continued with coach Day. Some early enrollees of the freshman class lost their stripes during spring practice. But the first member of the program to have their stripe removed this fall was graduate transfer Jonah Jackson. The Rutgers transfer earned the distinction after just the fourth practice of fall camp. He is vying for a starting spot at one of the guard positions. True freshman Harry Miller had his stripe removed after practice No. 5.
Greg Studrawa’s Thoughts
On transfer Jonah Jackson…
“He’s a guy that provides leadership without saying a word. Obviously, he’s a new guy and the rest of the guys are getting to know him. But he’s a professional. He does his job and goes hard every play that he’s in there. He’s starting to lead by example.”
On Thayer Munford…
“He’s done a really good job with his weight. He’s down to 313 pounds and looks like a million bucks. That’s going to take some stress off his back. We’re limiting him a little as he gets back into the swing of things because he hasn’t been in a full padded practice since last November. For him to knock the dust off and get back going, that’s going to come with each rep in practice this camp. But Thayer looks really good.”
On the depth…
“The depth right now is as good as it’s ever been since I’ve been here. The competition is unbelievable. Harry Miller has performed with the twos as a true freshman against our defense. Enokk (Vimahi) came in here at 270 and is now 295 and wow, does he look like a million bucks. Dawand Jones, you can’t miss him, he’s as big as a house and he’s running around at 375 pounds and looks like an athletic guy. And all that’s to say I can’t even get those guys in with the twos to get reps right now.”