Every day until fall camp begins for Ohio State, we will profile a different Buckeye football player. Today that player is freshman offensive lineman Ben Christman. Yesterday it was linebacker Teradja Mitchell. You can find all of the daily Scoop Profiles right here.
No. 71 | Offensive Lineman | 6-6 312 | Freshman | Revere High School | Richfield, Ohio
How’d He Get Here
Ohio State offered Ben Christman on February 5 of 2019, which was about two weeks after Penn State did the same. National powers like LSU and Alabama extended offers in April, as did programs like Rutgers and Michigan. Christman ended up committing to Ohio State on June 26, 2019 and enrolled in January. He was ranked the No. 123 player in the 2021 recruiting class and the No. 7 offensive guard in the nation. When he committed two years ago, he was ranked among the top 50 players in the nation.
Ben Christman did enroll early and got his feet wet this winter and spring. Each day was a new learning opportunity. The media saw him mostly at right tackle this spring. He was very good in the spring game and certainly didn’t look out of place at tackle. Given the depth at tackle for the Buckeyes this year, however, Christman shouldn’t need to see the field more than his allotted four games this year. In regards to a depth chart, he might actually be the No. 5 right tackle currently, behind Nick Petit-Frere, Dawand Jones, Enokk Vimahi, and Grant Toutant.
What to Like
Ben Christman was a three-sport athlete in high school, playing basketball along with football and participating in track & field, all of which has helped improve his feet and athleticism. That type of work may allow him to stay at tackle rather than moving inside to guard. He was also a four-year starter in high school, so he’s been reliable for a long time and been able to deliver. Christman understands the weight of expectations and the importance of availability. He showed some really good mobility in the spring game against the pass rush and also an ability to get to the second level to take on linebackers in the running game.
What’s the Ceiling This Year?
There just isn’t a lot of room for Ben Christman to play this year. That’s not unusual for a true freshman offensive lineman. Paris Johnson was the top offensive lineman in the class last year and he played all of 22 snaps on offense as a true freshman. So much of opportunity comes down to timing and right now the timing is poor for a young Ohio State tackle. It will get better next year, but this year even if Christman hit his ceiling, there still isn’t a clean path for playing time. The Buckeyes have three guys who would be starting at right tackle almost everywhere in the nation in Nick Petit-Frere, Paris Johnson, and Dawand Jones. It’s not a true freshman’s fault if he can’t crack that two-deep.
The starting tackles next year at Ohio State are likely going to be Paris Johnson at left tackle and Dawand Jones at right tackle. After that, however, both jobs may be wide open in 2023. Ben Christman could figure in at either spot because there are no definite 2023 left tackles on the roster yet, but they’re still going to have to put somebody there. He could also show up at guard. Basically, he’s got the athleticism and versatility to work out very well down the road as a multi-year starter with All-Big Ten potential and more.