For Ohio State, so much of what happens in 2021 will come down to how well they protect the quarterback and facilitate the run game.
Sounds basic, but the importance of blocking can’t be understated, according to Buckeyes coach Ryan Day.
“The idea is to find our best five offensive linemen — that’s it,” Day told reporters early this spring. “If we can do that, and get those guys on the field, that’s the ideal situation for us.
“Now, how does that fit in terms of position specificity? That’s what it comes down to in terms of figuring that out over the spring. But the more that guys can do, the more roles, the more value that they have.”
The Buckeyes are coming off a national championship appearance, where they lost to Alabama. While they will have to replace quarterback Justin Fields, they will have to make sure that replacement has enough time to throw the ball. Or it won’t matter who replaces Fields at all.
It is all expected to start with Thayer Munford, Paris Johnson Jr. and Nicholas Petit-Frere. Dawand Jones, Matthew Jones and Max Wray are among the linemen expected to make an impact. The same goes for Josh Fryar, Harry Miller, Enokk Vimahi and perhaps even redshirt freshmen centers Luke Wypler and Jakob James.
Those are just some of the names. If it all comes together, the Buckeyes could boast the deepest OL in the B1G. As for who starts, well, that has yet to be determined as spring practice nears an end.
“The competition is going great,” Wypler said. “I think all of us came here to compete.”