The story that former Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa liked to tell about Luke Wypler is that the day following the loss to Alabama in the 2021 College Football Playoff championship game, it was the true freshman Wypler working on his own in OSU’s football facility and sending video of it to Studrawa to ask for critique and coaching.

The 2020 season from hell had just ended and everyone needed a rest. Head coach Ryan Day told his team to go home and take a break. See family. Recharge.

But it was Wypler who was working on his own. Snapping, drilling footwork, pushing sleds, whatever. He played in one game in 2020 as a true freshman and it was clear that he was going to do everything in his power to see the field more as a redshirt freshman.

Wypler battled Matthew Jones for the starting center job last spring and surprisingly won it. It was a year of upheaval on the offensive line, with Harry Miller out for the year and Thayer Munford moving to guard to allow Dawand Jones into the top five in fall camp. Despite the movement, Wypler stayed solid and was never an afterthought in the starting lineup. He played the position well last year. He wasn’t flawless, but he did end up earning Third-Team All-Big Ten notice.

“I think last year it didn’t ever seem like I was thrown in,” Wypler said this spring. “I think I was prepared. I prepared all offseason for it. So it was something I was ready for. Now the experience is just an added bonus, so still working to get better every day.”

It is a new year now and Wypler is a year older. With the new year came more upheaval, as Studrawa was fired and Justin Frye was hired from UCLA to be Ohio State’s new offensive line coach.

For a player like Wypler who entrenched himself as the team’s starting center, change isn’t always good. So far, however, things have gone just fine.

“I really like him. Coach Frye has come in and done an excellent job with our unit,” Wypler said. “I think he really takes a great approach to coaching, kind of coaching everyone individually and trying to get us better every day.”

Having a new coach and a better understanding of his own job has allowed Wypler to gain new perspectives from both his new coach and his more experienced self. This is no longer his first rodeo and he now has a much better grasp on the bull he is being asked to ride.

“The game is starting to slow down,” he said. “It’s nice to kind of play the game inside the game now. Just using different techniques and doing different types of things to improve every day.”

The game inside the game is where the great centers thrive. Wypler doesn’t shy away from the mental work, just like he doesn’t shy away from the physical aspects of the position.

“I really love to study the game,” he said. “That’s one of my biggest trademarks that I try to impose. Obviously, I’m not Dawand or anyone with elite size or frame, but I think I do a really good job in the film room and trying to get after it.”

The smarter a center is, the more he can help his quarterback recognize pressures. And the smarter a quarterback is, the more he can help his center. This year, with the return of starting quarterback CJ Stroud, the Buckeyes have an experienced battery to keep the offense running.

“After starting 13 games here last year, I think me and him have a really good rapport with each other,” Wypler said. “We know what each other is thinking every play, so it’s easy to communicate without actually having to communicate.”

Last year, the Buckeyes led the nation in points per game (45.7) and total offense (561.2 yards per game). They averaged a nation-best 8.0 yards per play. They were third in yards per rush (5.54) and fourth in yards per pass (10.0). And despite those numbers, because of Wypler and Stroud being together for a second year, things could be even better in 2022.

“I think you’ll see a lot cleaner operation,” Wypler said. “Probably won’t have to communicate at the line so much because when we see the look, we both know what we’re thinking, we’re both on the same page.”

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  1. The story that former Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa liked to tell about Luke Wypler is that the day following the loss to Alabama in the 2021 College Football Playoff championship game, it was the true freshman Wypler working on his own in OSU’s football facility and sending video of it to Studrawa to ask for critique and coaching.

    The 2020 season from hell had just ended and everyone needed a rest. Head coach Ryan Day told his team to go home and take a break. See family. Recharge.

    But it was Wypler who was working on his own. Snapping, drilling footwork, pushing sleds, whatever. He played in one game in 2020 as a true freshman and it was clear that he was going to do everything in his power to see the field more as a redshirt freshman.

    Wypler battled Matthew Jones for the starting center job last spring and surprisingly won it. It was a year of upheaval on the offensive line, with Harry Miller out for the year and Thayer Munford moving to guard to allow Dawand Jones into the top five in fall camp. Despite the movement, Wypler stayed solid and was never an afterthought in the starting lineup. He played the position well last year. He wasn’t flawless, but he did end up earning Third-Team All-Big Ten notice.

    “I think last year it didn’t ever seem like I was thrown in,” Wypler said this spring. “I think I was prepared. I prepared all offseason for it. So it was something I was ready for. Now the experience is just an added bonus, so still working to get better every day.”

    It is a new year now and Wypler is a year older. With the new year came more upheaval, as Studrawa was fired and Justin Frye was hired from UCLA to be Ohio State’s new offensive line coach.

    For a player like Wypler who entrenched himself as the team’s starting center, change isn’t always good. So far, however, things have gone just fine.

    “I really like him. Coach Frye has come in and done an excellent job with our unit,” Wypler said. “I think he really takes a great approach to coaching, kind of coaching everyone individually and trying to get us better every day.”

    Having a new coach and a better understanding of his own job has allowed Wypler to gain new perspectives from both his new coach and his more experienced self. This is no longer his first rodeo and he now has a much better grasp on the bull he is being asked to ride.

    “The game is starting to slow down,” he said. “It’s nice to kind of play the game inside the game now. Just using different techniques and doing different types of things to improve every day.”

    The game inside the game is where the great centers thrive. Wypler doesn’t shy away from the mental work, just like he doesn’t shy away from the physical aspects of the position.

    “I really love to study the game,” he said. “That’s one of my biggest trademarks that I try to impose. Obviously, I’m not Dawand or anyone with elite size or frame, but I think I do a really good job in the film room and trying to get after it.”

    The smarter a center is, the more he can help his quarterback recognize pressures. And the smarter a quarterback is, the more he can help his center. This year, with the return of starting quarterback CJ Stroud, the Buckeyes have an experienced battery to keep the offense running.

    “After starting 13 games here last year, I think me and him have a really good rapport with each other,” Wypler said. “We know what each other is thinking every play, so it’s easy to communicate without actually having to communicate.”

    Last year, the Buckeyes led the nation in points per game (45.7) and total offense (561.2 yards per game). They averaged a nation-best 8.0 yards per play. They were third in yards per rush (5.54) and fourth in yards per pass (10.0). And despite those numbers, because of Wypler and Stroud being together for a second year, things could be even better in 2022.

    “I think you’ll see a lot cleaner operation,” Wypler said. “Probably won’t have to communicate at the line so much because when we see the look, we both know what we’re thinking, we’re both on the same page.”

  2. I watched Wypler a ton in HS. First look at him he looks a little small and a little nerdy (he’s a really smart kid School-wise). But you watch him play and he is a BADAZZZZZZ MF. He’s also a first in last out type of kid. Expect a big leap year over year

  3. [QUOTE=”JohnnieBuckeye1, post: 620474, member: 2847″]
    He has those intangibles above the neck that make people very good FB players. I think this OL will be dominant this year.
    [/QUOTE]
    Me too. Guards playing guard

  4. [QUOTE=”VBCoach, post: 620532, member: 1846″]
    [URL unfurl=”true”]https://rolltide.com/sports/football/roster/alex-leatherwood/6344[/URL]

    17th pick in the NFL draft as an OT. However started at OG as a soph at Bama. JR and SR all american at LT.

    Plays for the Raiders. They start him at OG. Plan to slide him out to OT this year.
    [/QUOTE]
    So they prefer to have him at tackle.

  5. [QUOTE=”VBCoach, post: 620539, member: 1846″]
    and yet started him at OG

    Were they wrong for doing that?
    [/QUOTE]
    No, you start the best five. But when they had a better opportunity to put that tackle where they wanted him most, both teams did it.

  6. [QUOTE=”VBCoach, post: 620831, member: 1846″]
    Right, that is how you do it. You play the best five. The best tackle plays tackle. So last year, who played guard was the right move. They played the best, not just someone who is a guard.
    [/QUOTE]
    Last year being the right move doesn’t mean positions can’t be improved upon. I think that’s the main point here. Some guys are better suited for guard and some guys are better suited for tackle. The hope would be that the “suits” fit better this year for the best five and it leads to a more effective line of scrimmage. That’s all.

    Asking guys that have only ever played tackle to play guard isn’t an ideal situation, but you play the best five and you make the best of it. I absolutely agree.

    But based on Thayer Munford’s 7th-round selection as a guard, and an NFL personnel guy telling me this month that Paris Johnson isn’t on the radar yet, you’d like to think OSU’s next two guards would be better thought of after a year of starting. I do believe that if Paris stayed at guard, he’d end up drafted earlier than the seventh round. He’ll be fine at tackle but just doesn’t have enough film for NFL people there yet.

  7. [QUOTE=”Tony Gerdeman, post: 620841, member: 7″]
    Last year being the right move doesn’t mean positions can’t be improved upon. I think that’s the main point here. Some guys are better suited for guard and some guys are better suited for tackle. The hope would be that the “suits” fit better this year for the best five and it leads to a more effective line of scrimmage. That’s all.

    Asking guys that have only ever played tackle to play guard isn’t an ideal situation, but you play the best five and you make the best of it. I absolutely agree.

    But based on Thayer Munford’s 7th-round selection as a guard, and an NFL personnel guy telling me this month that Paris Johnson isn’t on the radar yet, you’d like to think OSU’s next two guards would be better thought of after a year of starting. I do believe that if Paris stayed at guard, he’d end up drafted earlier than the seventh round. He’ll be fine at tackle but just doesn’t have enough film for NFL people there yet.
    [/QUOTE]
    Yeah my point was I think the line will be better with guys playing their best positions

    not that OsU did something wrong

  8. [QUOTE=”davebucknut, post: 620892, member: 2155″]
    It isn’t wrong, but it will be helpful to have guards actually playing guard, because IMO it is tough for tackles to play guard because of it being a short area for contact and leverage for a taller guy.
    [/QUOTE]
    All I know is everything I hear says Matt Jones is primed for a big year

  9. [QUOTE=”Alex Gleitman, post: 620891, member: 9″]
    Yeah my point was I think the line will be better with guys playing their best positions

    not that OsU did something wrong
    [/QUOTE]
    That is very controversial.

  10. [QUOTE=”VBCoach, post: 620860, member: 1846″]
    Well, I guess in a perfect world you might be right. However, in the days of NIL and the Portal, this is no longer the case. You play the best five. Flexibility is now something that is very, very valuable. Being able to play multiple positions is very valuable. In the NFL, they love it to be honest and this has been well documented. If you aren’t a starter on the OL, then you have better be able to play multiple things.

    Offensive linemen are offensive linemen. Trying to make cookie cutter positions is dumb. Play the best. For instance, no one cares that a guard will probably slide to center if something happens to Wympler. So why people get their panties in a wad over a tackle sliding to guard is beyond me.

    I really do feel Munford’s medical history played a huge part in his draft position. However, when I see things like that, I try to not put too much stock into it. We have seen over the past few years OSU guys get drafted low and then almost all end up starting in the NFL. We can go back to an undrafted Norwell to learn our lesson if need be.

    If you know an NFL guy whose team doesn’t have Paris on their radar, then that guy needs to tell his team their scouting system sucks. As a true soph, he was 2nd team all B1G. He was a 5 star coming out of HS and plays at OSU. Honestly, that is pathetic if they don’t have him on their radar. Yet, it doesn’t shock me at all. Again, Norwell.
    [/QUOTE]
    If offensive linemen are offensive linemen, where are all the 6-3 tackles?

  11. [QUOTE=”VBCoach, post: 620946, member: 1846″]
    All over the place really. You know how rosters work. If it says 6’4, we know how that goes.

    Here is a 6’4 tackle. He is kind of good. So if he can play it at 6’4, I am sure someone can play it at the college level at 6’3.
    [URL unfurl=”true”]https://www.espn.com/nfl/player/_/id/15963/david-bakhtiari[/URL]

    Here is one that started for Oklahoma. [URL]https://soonersports.com/sports/football/roster/tyrese-robinson/14684[/URL]

    I admit, it is rare. Its not something that you want to count on. However, its also not like it can not be done either. But as I have shown, offensive linemen are offensive linemen. This is especially the case if they are 6’4 or taller. I think sometimes people get too enamored with size. If we chose to do it that way, then Steve Smith could only play a slot receiver in the NFL. He was just 5’9, so how could he possibly play on the outside?

    To the original point though, having a guy who one considers to be a “natural tackle” play guard isn’t a big deal. In fact, it is meaningless. Play the five best. I have proven this and it is indisputable. Bama does it. OSU does it. It works. Case closed.
    [/QUOTE]
    Nobody is even arguing that tackles can’t play guard. That’s why they can be safer draft picks because there’s a fallback position for them. Going outside in is normal.

    But there are interior-types that you don’t want to put at tackle — and DON’T get put at tackle. Again, I don’t see how this is a controversial statement. Sometimes guards are guards. Most of the time, in fact.

    And me asking for some 6-3 tackles and you linking a 6-4 guy in the NFL isn’t quite what I was asking for.

    I honestly don’t even think we disagree on this stuff. There are exceptions to every rule, especially in the NFL where only the exceptional are allowed. But there are guard-types and there are tackle-types. Can tackles be as good at guard as guards? Yes. Could a guard be better at guard than a tackle is? Also yes. That’s all.

  12. [QUOTE=”DavidPintaric, post: 621275, member: 426″]
    Wasn’t Stanford his second choice of schools? If so, that speaks to his intelligence.
    [/QUOTE]
    Yes. Actually almost his first choice until Urban and Schiano convinced him to change his mind

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