Before the Buckeyes take on Oregon State on Saturday, we are previewing every position group.
Here’s a look at the enforcers on the offense:
Returning starters: Michael Jordan, Isaiah Prince, Demetrius Knox
Rising: Brady Taylor, Malcolm Pridgeon, Thayer Munford, Joshua Alabi
Others: Josh Myers, Branden Bowen, Wyatt Davis, Gavin Cupp, Nicholas Petit-Frere, Matthew Jones, Max Wray
The offensive line must replace two starters, but reports from practice indicate there is a strong pool of players in the running for snaps.
A lot seemed to be in flux here during preseason camp as Munford and Taylor were both out with apparent injuries during a practice session open to the media August 19. That gave Alabi some time at left tackle while Jordan was the No. 1 center.
Taylor was penciled in as the new starter at center when spring concluded despite a push from Myers, a highly regarded redshirt freshman from Miamisburg.
Jordan, a two-year starter at guard, got a look at center in August in an attempt to get the five best players on the field.
Prince is also a two-year starter who had a solid 2017 after a trial-by-fire as a sophomore in ’16.
Pridgeon was brought in from JUCO to much acclaim two years ago but hasn’t made an impact yet. He was the first-team left guard when Jordan was working at center during the open practice.
Knox, a Springfield native, has been the subject of frequent praise from the coaches this offseason.
Petit-Frère, Jones and Wray are all highly regarded freshmen.
-Interim coach Ryan Day said Monday that Jordan will start at center with Pridgeon at left guard.
Alabi and Munford will split reps at left tackle this week in practice with the starter to be determined.
He also indicated nagging injuries held back both Taylor and Munford during preseason camp.
There is no guaranteed the starting lineup Saturday will be the starting lineup all season.
Returning starters: None
Rising: Luke Farrell
Others: Rashod Berry, Jake Hausmann, Jeremy Ruckert, Derrick Malone, Tate Duarte, Brock Davin
Who emerges from this group to grab the majority of playing time remains to be seen, but if it is Berry, Hasmann or Farrell, they should provide a more physical presence than 2017 starter Marcus Baugh.
Ruckert is a highly regarded freshman who is more of a receiving threat in the mold of Baugh.
Berry is the most experienced of the group, but he was banged up in spring, allowing Farrell to move up the depth chart.
Hasumann missed part of preseason camp with a hamstring injury but has returned according to interim head coach Ryan Day.
Malone is a senior walk-on from Thurgood Marshall. Duarte and Davin are also walk-ons.
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