Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Offensive Tackle

Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Offensive Tackle

BuckeyeWire

Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Offensive Tackle


Spring has almost sprung in the Midwest and that means the beginning of spring football in Columbus and many other places that are crazy about college football. Here at Buckeye Wire, we are kicking off our Spring Football Preview. Next up is the offensive tackles.


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2018 Spring Preview

Spring Overview | The Quarterbacks | The Running Backs | If Dwayne Haskins Is The QB | If Tate Martell Is The QB | If Joe Burrow Is The QB

Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Offensive Tackle

The Buckeyes have churned out a slew of offensive linemen over the past few years, and there’s talent and potential in this group as well. As in most years, the coaching staff will look for versatility to get the best five guys in the lineup.

Some of the tackles could move to up and down the line based on need and development, but this is where we’ll start.

Key Losses

Jamarco Jones

Jones was the left tackle responsible for protecting Barrett’s blind-side and did an outstanding job in pass protection as a two-year starter. He was a two-time all Big-Ten selection and started 27-straight games.

His experience in that national title-winning season and other big-time games is invaluable from a leadership and experience standpoint. Ohio State will be hard-pressed to fill his shoes.

But alas, the show must go on …

Returning Talent

Isaiah Prince

Prince is a two-year starter and has had to learn on the job. He was thrown into the fire his freshman season as the starting right tackle and showed some warts trying to block the top-shelf defensive-ends. But he has progressed through last year and will be counted on as a leader on the line.

He’ll probably get a look at left tackle to provide some stability and proven skill at that position, but if not, you can bet the 6-7, 310 lb. junior will be penciled in as a starter regardless.

branden bowen

The 6-7, 312 lb. Bowen was the starter at right guard before being lost to a broken leg in the middle of the season. He’s been on the mend and probably won’t be fully ready to go until after spring, but if the coaching staff is looking to get the best five guys on the line, there’s a good chance he’ll be one of them.

He might get his old position of right guard back, but he may be slotted in at one of the tackle spots as well depending on how things shake out with the rest of the personnel.

Thayer Munford

Munford was the backup to Isaiah Prince at the right tackle spot last year and figures to get a chance to be the starter if Prince moves to the left side as expected.

He’s just a sophomore at 6-6, 325 lbs. and was a late addition to the 2017 class with little fanfare. But he responded well in camp and practices, especially as the season progressed.

He was singled out for his play leading up to the Cotton Bowl despite having a slew of other stars on the team, and continues to draw rave reviews. He’ll factor in to the top-end of the rotation somehow.

demetrius knox

Knox took over for the injured Bowen at right guard and handled himself well — improving throughout the year.

He’ll be a senior this year, which means he knows the culture, has gone against great D-linemen in his career at practice day in and day out, and can speak from experience.

At 6-4, 312 lbs. Knox could maintain his right guard position, but may also get some time at the tackle spot — again to get the best guys on the field. It all depends on who rises up, who’s healthy, and where the puzzle pieces fit.

joshua alabi

Alabi came to Ohio State as a defensive lineman but was move to the offensive line last year because it fit his skill set better and filled a depth need there.

He’ll be a junior and goes 6-5, 305 lbs., meaning he’s more than big enough to move opposing defensive linemen out of the way.

Alabi will probably be competing for a backup job with his most likely landing spot being at left tackle because of need. But it’ll be a long competition with him getting every opportunity to separate himself.

The Incoming Class

max wray

At 6-6, 289 lbs., Wray was the overall No. 9 rated tackle in the 2018 recruiting class according to 247Sports.

Out of Franklin, TN, he could get an immediate look to provide depth at the tackle spot. He is already enrolled at OSU and going through drills, so that gives him a leg-up on other freshman that are still working on graduating high school and enrolling at Ohio State in the fall.

He probably needs to fill out a little more before he makes a severe push for playing time, but he’s got a lot of potential and could be called upon if there are unexpected losses at the tackle spot.

Nicholas Petit-Frere

Frere is out of the Tampa Bay area and was a major get for Urban Meyer right at the end of the second official signing period.

It’s too early to tell for sure, but he has drawn comparisons to former OSU All-American Orlando Pace with his great feet, athleticism and high football IQ.

He was the No. 1 offensive tackle prospect in the country according to 247Sports.

He is 6-6, 272 lbs., but will continue to fill out on a frame that is built and ready for the big-time. He’s not on campus yet, but figures to get some reps in the fall to see if he’s ready to contribute immediately at the left tackle spot.

Predicting The Pecking Order

This is our projected depth at the tackle position, keeping in mind that there will be some movement up and down the line. I believe Prince and Munford are the early leaders, and the rotation could change quite a bit from there as things progress.

Left Tackle

  1. Isaiah Prince
  2. Nicholas Petit-Frere *
  3. Joshua Alibi

Right Tackle

  1. Thayer Munford
  2. Branden Bowen
  3. Demetrius Knox
  4. Max Wray *

* Freshmen

 

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