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To Do List: Buckeye Offensive Line Coach Greg Studrawa
By Tony Gerdeman
An offensive line coach's job is never done, which makes for a pretty busy to-do list.
Photo by Dan Harker

Greg Studrawa begins his second season at Ohio State having to replace just one starter, but that one starter was Rimington Trophy winner Pat Elflein, so even though there may be four starters back, there is still quite a hole to fill.

Getting the center position squared away with Billy Price may be the most important item on Studrawa's to-do list this spring, but it's far from the only thing that must get done. What else is there? We have some ideas.

1. Give Billy Price all the help he needs.

Billy Price has never started a game at center, though he has repped there in practice for a few years now, as was the back-up last season. As a fifth-year senior, this move shouldn't be overly complicated for him, but it's still a pretty big deal. Of note, however, is that this will be the third different position for Price in three seasons, so he's accustomed to the feeling of newness. There will be more asked of him at center than there ever was at left or right guard. As such, Greg Studrawa will have to be there with him every step of the way to make sure he understands the whats and whys of everything asked of him. As the apex of the Ohio State offense, Price is going to have to make all of the line calls and keep his linemates situated. Almost forgotten in all of this, however, is the fact that he's going to have to make sure his snaps are consistent. That work is undoubtedly going on right now, but it will continue until it's second nature.

2. Get Isaiah Prince righted.

This could also be titled, "Continue the progression of random college athlete" because no player is a finished product as a sophomore and to expect them to be is silly. Isaiah Prince is remembered more for his rough outing against Penn State than every other thing he did this past season. The best thing about sophomore offensive linemen is that they eventually become juniors, and that's the case with Prince. Studrawa will have plenty to work with because Prince is now an experienced starter and he has seen what works and what got him into trouble. The job from now until Prince leaves for the NFL is to continue exuding the things that worked and excluding the things that didn't. Studrawa needs to make sure the good habits eventually eliminate the bad habits and that's when Prince's technique will catch up with his athleticism.

3. Determine the legitimate right guard candidates.

This job is going to go to one of the five best offensive linemen on the team, which means that up to 10 different linemen would have a shot. What Studrawa needs to do early in the spring is determine those few players who have a realistic shot at the job. Does that mean everybody gets at least a crack? Probably not. Those players who don't get a shot at the right guard spot will have to prove their value at their own spots and force Studrawa's hand to put them in the starting five somewhere. Given that those other four spots are occupied by incumbents, that's going to be difficult for those back-ups to do. Regardless of who gets a shot at this open spot on the offensive line, the Buckeyes can't fool around too long because they not only need to get that position settled, but the rest of the depth chart along the offensive line as well. Just as an example, the longer a guy like Gavin Cupp is getting a look at right guard, the shorter his look at tackle will be. The spring is also about building a depth chart, not just finding one starter.

4. Find a fourth tackle.

The fourth offensive tackle has essentially been the holy grail for the Buckeyes over the last few years. This year it would seem they have a great shot at having that fourth tackle in Malcolm Pridgeon, but he could end up in that right guard spot if he's one of the five best linemen on the team. If it's not Pridgeon, the guys in the running this spring would likely be redshirt sophomore Kevin Feder, redshirt freshman Gavin Cupp, and true freshman Josh Myers. Or maybe redshirt junior Brady Taylor moves to tackle from center. Clearly there is plenty yet to be worked out, but if the Buckeyes can find a fourth tackle from this group then they'll have something they haven't had in a pretty long time.

5. See what you've got in the redshirt freshmen.

The 2016 class of offensive linemen has already exceeded expectations with Michael Jordan starting at left guard all season long as a true freshman a year ago. There were three other linemen signed in that class, however, in Gavin Cupp, Tyler Gerald, and Jack Wohlabaugh. They each redshirted, so this spring will be their first real camp competing for a spot. With an opportunity to finally make some noise, why not let them loose a bit and see if they can do more than the veterans who gave way to Jordan a year ago as a true freshman? With Wohlabaugh being a center, that may be a bit tough because they may want Billy Price getting as many reps as he needs to get comfortable. Cupp and Gerald, however, could be right in the mix at right guard. Heck, Wohlabaugh could be as well, as OSU has shown over the past few seasons that guard and center are virtually interchangeable. Basically, the 2016 offensive line haul was very well thought of, so let's see if some more of those thoughts can be realized this spring.

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