Spring practice has started in Columbus, and we are continuing our preview look at each position group at Ohio State. Next up is the deep and talented guard position.
2018 Spring Preview
Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Guards
Urban Meyer has always said that his Ohio State teams are offensive line driven. The team will only go as far as the line will take them.
If that’s the case — as boring as it may be — who replaces the departed on the line is more important than most anything else (somewhere Jim Tressel is still lamenting the punt being the most important play in football).
After looking at tackle and center, today we look at what things look like at the guard position as spring practice gets going.
Ohio State only lost two from the offensive line with center Billy Price and left tackle Jamarco Jones heading to further their careers. However, whenever there are losses on the line, the potential exists for the shell game to take place and a shuffling of personnel.
So, we’ll keep that in mind as we target who could be in the mix here for guard despite an abundance of depth returning at the position.
Jordan is pretty set at left guard for Ohio State. He was inserted into game action as a true freshman at right guard and was moved to the left side last year. He will be one of the anchors of the line in 2018.
He’s out in the spring with a shoulder injury, but he’ll likely be penciled in and full go in the fall.
Knox took over at right guard when Branden Bowen went down with an injury and handled himself well — especially as the season wore on. It’ll be interesting to see who gets the nod once Bowen is full go.
As mentioned, Bowen was the starter at right guard before he went down with a broken leg against Iowa. He beat everyone out to start the year last year, so as long as he’s healthy in the fall, he’ll get another shot to be inserted somewhere depending on need and how well he asserts himself coming back.
Pridgeon was the backup to Michael Jordan on the left side, and was in a tight battle to replace the injured Bowen last year, but Knox got the nod at right guard when the lights went on.
He was originally a JUCO transfer when he came to Ohio State and was listed as a five-star recruit with high expectations. We’ll see if he can get into the mix and secure a spot this year.
Myers was the No. 1 player out of Ohio according to 247Sports in 2017 and enrolled early. He was initially slotted in as a backup at left guard last year. He could stay there and compete for a spot, but he could also slide elsewhere along the line. He has a high ceiling, it’s just a matter of him putting it all together.
Davis comes from great bloodlines (his grandfather is NFL Hall of Famer DE Willie Davis) and was the No. 1 guard coming out of high school in 2017 class according to most recruiting services. You get a feel he’ll factor into plans at some point, but whether it’s this year or not remains to be seen.
Burrell was the third man in the battle to replace Bowen when he was injured, but ultimately was placed as the backup on the depth chart at right guard. He’s versatile enough to compete at center or guard, it just depends on how well he competes when given the chance at both spots.
The Incoming Class
Because of the depth at this position group, Ohio State didn’t focus too much on bringing a guard in the 2018 class. As we all we know though, any of the offensive linemen can be moved up and down the line based on injuries, development and skill level. The other linemen coming in with the 2018 class are detailed in our center and tackle previews.
Predicting The Pecking Order
- Left Guard
- Michael Jordan
- Wyatt Davis
- Matt Burrell
- Demetrius Knox
- Branden Bowen
- Malcolm Pridgeon
- Josh Myers
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