Right tackle was one of the few seemingly wide open jobs entering Ohio State preseason camp.
After a little more than two weeks, head coach Ryan Day said fifth-year senior Branden Bowen and redshirt freshman Nicholas Petit-Frere are still battling it out.
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"They're doing a great job. I anticipate both will play,” Day said. “Branden Bowen has probably had the best camp. He's at a certain level, playing really well. Nick has done a really good job as well.”
The two come from more or less opposite ends of the recruiting and experience spectrums.
Bowen signed in 2015 as a three-star from Draper, Utah, and the No. 61 offensive tackle prospect in the country according to 247Sports Composite rankings.
Petit-Frere was a five-star from Tampa, Fla., and the No. 1 offensive tackle prospect (seventh overall) in the class of 2018.
The 6-foot7, 315-pound Bowen began his career as a tackle but won a starting spot at right guard in the 2017 preseason and started six games before suffering a broken leg.
Bowen proved to be a versatile mauler before his injury and has faced a long road back to full health.
While he has rehabbed his leg and faced multiple surgeries to get it right, Petit-Frere has been eating 8,000 calories a day to bulk to his frame to withstand the pounding of Big Ten football.
Petit-Frere is not only high on potential but also perhaps the prototypical pro tackle prospect with his athleticism, rangy frame and room to grow.
"Right now they both deserve to play,” Day said Monday. “Where this week goes, we'll see. Still another big week for us as we lead into next week and prepare for the game.”
Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa said earlier in camp he could go into the season playing both regularly, and Day indicated that is still possible at multiple positions.
“I think we could see a lot of offensive linemen play,” Day said. “Towards the end of the week, probably have a better idea who those are. We're going to try to play depth there. We're going to try to play depth at a lot of positions. The more depth we can play with, the better off and stronger our team is going to be.”
Thayer Munford is the only returning full-year starter from last season, but he has shared reps with senior Josh Alabi after missing spring practice while recovering from an unidentified surgery.
Miamisburg native Josh Myers has been penciled in as the new starting center since January, and true freshman Harry Miller has impressed this month as the potential No. 2 guy in the middle.
Miller could also play guard, where Wyatt Davis and Jonah Jackson are the likely starters but Studrawa has been happy with the progress of Gavin Cupp, too.
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