Replacing Josh Myers: Buckeyes Need New Center of Attention

Josh Myers could have returned for a fifth year in 2021 but chose to head off and get his NFL career started. Myers was a two-year starter for the Buckeyes and performed very well in each of those years.

After redshirting as a true freshman in 2017, Myers spent his redshirt freshman season as the backup to center Michael Jordan. By the end of the year, he had progressed well enough to start had the Buckeyes needed it.

As a first-year starter in 2019, Myers was one of the best centers in the game, earning Second-Team All-Big Ten honors as a redshirt sophomore. As a fourth-year junior in 2020, he played well enough to earn First-Team marks from the media.

Replacing Josh Myers will be about much more than just finding a guy who can snap the ball, but the Buckeyes have done a great job at this position over the last 25 years or so and 2021 isn’t expected to be any different.

The Candidates

Ohio State likes to have more than just their centers practice taking snaps just in case something terrible happens to their top three guys. For our purposes, however, the top three is sufficient.

Rising junior Harry Miller [pictured below] got a start at center this past year in the game at Michigan State and after he dialed down the MPH some on his snaps, he played pretty well. He has been viewed as the center of the future since before he even committed to Ohio State as a 5-star prospect and the No. 2 center in the 2019 recruiting class.

2021 National Championship Game Harry Miller Justin Fields

Redshirt freshman Luke Wypler is in that same “center of the future” lineage, but he probably still has to wait his turn. Like Miller, he was the No. 2 center in his signing class. Ohio State also signed the No. 1 center in the 2018 class, in the form of Matt Jones. Jones will likely be starting at one of the two open guard spots in 2021, but he remains a viable option should the need arise.

There will also be a young lineman groomed as the center for the third team for practice purposes. Maybe that’s a spot where somebody like redshirt freshman Jakob James or redshirt sophomore Ryan Jacoby could find a home.

Spring Outlook

Even though Harry Miller was a starting guard last year, he did receive center reps at times in practice. Those reps will certainly increase this spring. Luke Wypler should also get a ton of reps as they look to groom him to take over for Miller when the time comes. Wypler played very sparingly in three games last year, so he will need as much work as he can get this spring as a redshirt freshman.

The third-team guy is a bit of a mystery at the moment, but offensive line coach Greg Studrawa will be looking for an athletic lineman who can handle the added duty of making the line calls.

Best Bet

The easy bet here is that Harry Miller wins the job because he’s been spoken about as the replacement for Josh Myers for years now. He has shown no reason to expect anything different at this point. This past year as a sophomore guard he was named Third-Team All-Big Ten. He is now a veteran and expected to be ready for this role.

That being said, the Buckeyes will start their five best offensive linemen and figure out how to get them all on the field together. If Luke Wypler can show he belongs, then maybe a place is found for him somewhere on the interior as well.

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