Football

Ohio State Fall Practice Insider: Buckeyes Retooled Offensive Line Taking Shape?

COLUMBUS – The Buckeyes were back on the practice field Tuesday morning and for the first time in fall camp, they were in full pads. Finally being decked out in full pads meant that Tuesday’s practice would be the most physical to this point.

The media was allowed to view the first four periods of practice, which occurred before any of the aforementioned physicality would actually get underway.

Still, there were some things to see.

Practice opened with kickoff return drills, then moved to some stretching and jogging before giving way to some position work. The last couple of periods of practice featured some catching and throwing, including some one-on-ones between the Ohio State receivers and defensive backs.

The most notable aspect of practice, however, came during some individual drills when the first-team and second-team offensive line were working together. As was mentioned on our Ask The Insiders message board last week, there are some significant changes occurring on the offensive line, which has included Thayer Munford moving inside to guard and Dawand Jones coming in at right tackle.

Those reports were confirmed by Ryan Day on Monday, saying that they are trying some different things out right now in order to find their best five offensive linemen.

On Tuesday, it was still the experimental line at the forefront.

It was Nicholas Petit-Frere at left tackle, Munford at left guard, Harry Miller at center, Paris Johnson at right guard, and Dawand Jones at right tackle. The twos were LT – Enokk Vimahi, LG – Matthew Jones, C – Luke Wypler, RG – Donovan Jackson, RT – Josh Fryar.

Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and all 10 linemen are scheduled to meet with reporters after practice.

Early Returns on Returns

The Buckeyes were working on kickoff returns when the media viewing window opened. When Ohio State football practice emcee Quinn Tempel yelled for the twos, it was freshman receiver Emeka Egbuka who stepped up to run the drill as the returner.

When Tempel yelled for the next group, it was freshman running back Evan Pryor back as the main returner.

Then, when Tempel yelled for the ones, “the other freshman running back” TreVeyon Henderson stepped up. Last year’s No. 1 kick returner Demario McCall was in the end zone with the other returners watching.

As always, don’t read too much into early reps. McCall is still almost certainly involved since he was there, but his “return” may have been before the viewing window opened.

The drill doesn’t actually feature fielding kicks. Instead, a ball is given to the returner and there is blocking going on in front of him like a real kickoff.

Tyler Friday Still Helping Out

Senior defensive end Tyler Friday suffered a pretty significant injury that has knocked him out of camp and likely ended his 2021 season.

That doesn’t mean he’s out of the picture, however.

Friday could be seen watching defensive line drills intently. In fact, after one early drill he pulled redshirt freshman defensive end Darrion Henry-Young aside and gave him tips on the proper technique for doing the drill.

With so many young defensive linemen on this team who could use a veteran’s help, Friday is still going to be a very busy guy this year despite the injury.

Emptying the Notebook

  • One day after Ryan Day essentially told reporters not to make much out of the order in which players were lining up or repping, it was Master Teague back lining up first at running back, followed by Miyan Williams, Marcus Crowley, TreVeyon Henderson, and Evan Pryor.
  • Sophomore linebacker Cody Simon and freshman safety Jaylen Johnson were off working on their own early on, usually signifying some minor injury.
  • Freshman cornerback Jakailin Johnson had a rough day tackling in his first day as a Buckeye with full pads on. Reports have still been quite good regarding Johnson, but the early morning session had some rough reps.
  • Craig Young, who continues to work with the safeties as a Bullet, had great coverage on one rep of a corner route. It was similar to what we saw from him in the spring as well. It’s clear that he can run.
  • Freshman receiver Marvin Harrison had a really nice catch off his shoe tops on a slant route from CJ Stroud. Harrison continues to look more like a vet than a rookie.
  • The quarterbacks repped in this order: CJ Stroud, Kyle McCord, Jack Miller at times. Other times it was Miller repping second.