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Ohio State focused on versatile, not mountain-sized, offensive linemen

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Trey Leroux is one of the country's biggest 2020 offensive linemen. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Recruiting Question of the Day

Ohio State focused on versatile, not mountain-sized, offensive linemen

Have a question about Ohio State recruiting? This is the place for you, five days a week. Submit your questions on Twitter or on the Lettermen Row forums. Check in daily to see what’s on the mind of Buckeyes fans all over the country. Today’s question looks a bit closer at the ideal frame for an Ohio State offensive lineman after a couple of recent commitments that have tested the norms.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

While the recent addition of mountain-sized prospects like 2019 signee Dawand Jones and 2020 commitment Trey Leroux, it would be easy to be convinced that there’s been a concerted effort by Ohio State to increase the mass of its offensive line. But that’s not really the case.

Jones and Leroux, each of whom stand in the 6-foot-8 and 360-pound range, are outliers — not the norm and not the target for Ohio State anymore. The Buckeyes prefer their linemen to be a touch leaner, usually in the 295-to-310 pound range and that’s pretty evident from the current roster and the most recent groups of signees and current commitments not named Leroux.

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In the class of 2020, Paris Johnson and Grant Toutant are each a legitimate 6-foot-7 inches, but their frames aren’t near the same as Jones and Leroux, checking in at 285 and 310 pounds, respectively. That’s the absolute ideal for Ohio State when it comes to a tackle. Luke Wypler and Jakob James are interior linemen at 6-foot-4 and 280-pounds or so, and they’ll land somewhere right around the 300-pound mark by the time they’re suiting up for their first games at Ohio Stadium.

Outside of Dawand Jones, the heaviest Buckeye offensive linemen on the current roster is Thayer Munford, and he’s still under 320 pounds at 6-foot-6 inches tall.

So, no, size isn’t what the Buckeyes are looking for along the offensive line. They’re searching for the same thing they want at every position: Athletes. In the case of a guy like Dawand Jones, it’s pretty clear that he has the ability to do some unique things for a kid with his dimensions. Stuff like this, for example.

It remains to be seen how he translates that frame and athleticism into the game of football. Trey Leroux will face similarly difficult transitions and he’s not nearly as dextrous as Jones is right now. Either way, it’s likely to take a little time before anybody will see the final, Ohio State-developed product that these young linemen can become.

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