Wayne grad Landers growing as leader for Ohio State Buckeyes

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Ohio State's Larry Johnson praises leadership of Robert Landers

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Defensive tackle has a chance to start as redshirt junior

The Dayton area’s long tradition of seeing area graduates excel for the Ohio State Buckeyes will continue in 2018.

Defensive tackle Robert Landers, of Wayne, should play an even bigger role than he did last season, and there’s another local name in the mix for playing time as well: Miamisburg’s Josh Myers.

Landers, who will be a redshirt junior in the fall, has appeared in every game of the last two seasons. He has 12½ tackles for a loss in his career. He was a captain for the Scarlet team on Saturday in the spring game.

“His leadership skills are going out the roof,” said defensive line coach Larry Johnson on Wednesday as Ohio State assistant coaches met with the media to review the spring season. “That’s the biggest level I want him to grow, just being a leader. He’s done that. He’s leading by example, too. It’s really cool for the young players to watch a guy go as hard as he can. I think that’s really special.”

» RELATED: Alter grad Mangold retires from NFL after 11 seasons

Landers played 20-25 snaps a game last season, Johnson said, and played well. He has a chance to start this season. His ability to be a vocal leader helps.

“He’s on your back, patting you on the shoulder, telling you the right way to do it,” Johnson said, “and young players need to see that and hear that. He’ll take time with you. He’ll spend two hours with videotape just watching or come out early on a Saturday and work on technique, which is kind of cool.”

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa breaks down the competition between Brady Taylor and Miamisburg grad Josh Myers to be the starting center this fall.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Myers put himself in a position to compete for the starting center job with his performance in the final two weeks of spring practices.

» RELATED: Photos from spring game

That was the gist of offensive line coach Greg Studrawa’s comments. The 6-foot-5, 308-pound Myers, who redshirted last season as a freshman, will compete with Brady Taylor, a 6-5, 302-pound redshirt senior.

Taylor worked with the first-team offense in the spring game and left spring practices with the starting position, head coach Urban Meyer said Saturday, but still has to earn it in the preseason.

“That battle is continuous,” Studrawa said. “Both of those guys are playing well. Josh Myers the last two weeks was outstanding. He struggled the first two, but the last two, including in the spring game, he was outstanding, and Brady’s been steady. Those guys are going to go right through the summer, right into camp, battling it out for that spot.”

» POSITION BATTLE: No decision yet on quarterbacks

Studrawa said Myers, who was the top-ranked recruit in Ohio in 2017, improved in his understanding of the offense and in his snap consistency, which the coaches grade every day on a chart. Myers started for the Scarlet team in the spring game and spent most of the game snapping the ball to quarterback Tate Martell.

“They know he was all over the place because he was trying to snap the ball and make all the blocks we do,” Studrawa said. “That was new for him. I think toward the end he got consistent with snapping the ball. He was on target with those things. Now he understands what he has to do. He understands all the pressures of making the calls, setting the fronts. He got 600-some reps. That’s outstanding. The fact that he got through it and the spring game was his best outing, that’s exactly what we were hoping to accomplish, and we did.”