Every day until fall camp begins for Ohio State, we will profile a different Buckeye football player. Today that player is sophomore offensive lineman Paris Johnson. Yesterday it was defensive end Jack Sawyer. You can find all of the daily Scoop Profiles right here.

Paris Johnson

No. 77 | Offensive Lineman | 6-6 315 | Sophomore | Princeton High School | Cincinnati, Ohio

How’d He Get Here

Paris Johnson committed to Ohio State nearly three years ago after spending the spring and summer of 2018 visiting more college campuses than the Dave Matthews Band circa 1994. Even after committing to Ohio State in June of 2018, Johnson kept message boards busy the next spring by taking visits to Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and LSU. Eventually, however, the Cincinnati native settled down and chose OSU. Johnson was ranked the No. 1 offensive tackle in the 2020 recruiting class and the No. 9 player overall. Johnson competed for the open right tackle job last year, which eventually went to Nicholas Petit-Frere. That didn’t keep Johnson from being a valuable reserve for the Buckeyes, however. In fact, he played both tackle and guard for Ohio State, which should pay off greatly for both Johnson and the Buckeyes this year.

Current Situation

Paris Johnson opened the spring this year as the Buckeyes’ starter at right guard. Since the day he signed he’s been viewed as Ohio State’s left tackle of the future, but that future got put on hold for a year with the return of starting left tackle Thayer Munford this year. Even with Munford’s return, OSU offensive line coach Greg Studrawa thought about moving one of Munford or starting right tackle Nick Petit-Frere to guard in order to open up a spot for Johnson. Ultimately, however, he decided to leave the nation’s best tackle duo intact and slide Johnson inside to guard. Johnson didn’t view the move as a negative, saying that it will show the NFL his versatility when his draft time comes.

What to Like

It might be quicker to list what not to like: Inability to take flight; can only shoot lasers out of one eye; probably likes Cincinnati-style chili. Other than that, this is the type of guy who will make an offensive line better. Paris Johnson is light enough on his feet to be a pass blocker out on an island, but still forceful enough to be a road grader on the inside. His mobility will allow him to get to the second level as a run blocker. He can also pull when needed and clear a path as a lead blocker. Johnson is a physical lineman who will only get more physical now that he’s playing on the interior for the Buckeyes.

What’s the Ceiling This Year?

Few offensive linemen have come to Ohio State with the kind of expectations that Paris Johnson carries with him. He only saw action on offense in four games last season, so while the confidence in Johnson is high, there’s not a lot of tape to go on. Getting a starter’s reps this spring will help, but he will continue to get accustomed to the guard position even into fall camp. Don’t be surprised if there is a slow start for Johnson this season. That’s not unusual for a new starter, especially at a foreign position. But his improvement throughout the season should be evident. And by the time November and December roll around, it would not be a surprise if Johnson is seen as one of the five best offensive linemen in the Big Ten.

And Beyond?

All expectations have Paris Johnson taking over at left tackle in 2022 which should allow him to fully realize his immense potential. He could also become one of the few Buckeyes who earn All-Big Ten status at two different positions. It won’t be a shock to see preseason All-American accolades for him next year. Offensive linemen leaving for the NFL after just three years on campus is fairly rare, but that’s the kind of ability Johnson possesses.

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1 Comment

  1. [QUOTE=”VBCoach, post: 158371, member: 1846″]
    The kid is flat out gifted. However, this move to guard should make him more physical and basically nastier. While most would want to see him just be a LT and reach his potential, I think in the long run this move benefits him greatly while also benefitting the team too.
    Shows a maturity that he views it the same way.

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