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Summer arrivals critical for success of Ohio State offensive line

Jonah Jackson-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Ohio State will have immediate use for Rutgers graduate transfer Jonah Jackson. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Question Of The Day

Summer arrivals critical for success of Ohio State offensive line

The speculation, debate and conversations about Ohio State never end, and Lettermen Row is always ready to dive into the discussions. All week long, senior writer Austin Ward will field topics about the Buckeyes submitted by readers and break down anything that’s on the minds of the Best Damn Fans in the Land. Have a question that needs to be tackled, like the one today about the Ohio State offensive line? Send it in right here — and check back daily for the answers.

As impressive as the collection of signees was yet again for Ohio State and for as much as the coaching staff might want to get those freshmen involved, there truthfully isn’t much room for opportunity on a loaded, veteran roster.

Yes, the Buckeyes are excited about Harry Miller, need some depth on the offensive line and are already working to get him up to speed thanks to FaceTime visits to the meeting room. Certainly the explosive athleticism of Jameson Williams makes him a viable option to get on the field in some capacity at wide receiver or H-back. And maybe Steele Chambers has the ability to jump into a wide-open competition for carries as the backup running back.

But honestly, the summer arrival that really matters most to Ohio State is Jonah Jackson. There’s simply no question that he’s the most valuable piece of the puzzle that the Buckeyes didn’t have on hand during these 15 key spring practices, and adding a potential starter when he enrolls at the end of May is hugely significant — even if the buzz for a graduate transfer might not always measure up next to the excitement of a five-star recruit.

Greg Studrawa-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa needs a couple more bodies to help the Buckeyes. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

“The fact that he’s really a tough, intelligent football player, that was the first thing I liked about [Jackson],” offensive line coach Greg Studrawa said. “Then I watched him in our game block our guys last year — he did a hell of a job.

“I said: Wow, that kid is interested in us? So, we reached out to him. Here’s an intelligent kid who is really tough … and to add a guy like that when we’re losing all that experience and he has three years of experience in the Big Ten, that was a huge bonus.”

It’s also a boost that Ohio State can add an elite young player like Miller along with Jackson to beef up the interior offensive line. It’s a tall order to play early up front in the Big Ten, and it would be understandable if it takes Miller some time to get up to speed.

But Jackson has already been a starter in that conference for a couple years. And while he will still have to nail down all the details in the playbook, get acclimated to the system and develop chemistry with his new teammates, Jackson was coveted by the best programs in the country for a reason. The expectation is that he’ll arrive once he’s done at Rutgers ready to slide into the starting job at left guard. And when Thayer Munford returns from his spring on the shelf due to injury, that will instantly transform a unit that has been forced to patch things together over the last few weeks.

There’s still reason to be excited about the influx of talent on the way from the last recruiting cycle. But when it comes to opportunities to play for guys not already on campus, Jonah Jackson is the one the Buckeyes need the most.

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In spite of alleged domestic abuse, coach Meyers suspension and retirement, the O-line departures, 3 NFL receivers gone, I’m really stoked about this team. I hope they play with a giant chip on their shoulders and show the nation that just because Coach Meyer is gone, the program is still elite. O-H! And scUM still sucks.


Right on!


Austin Ward is Lettermen Row's senior writer covering Ohio State football and basketball. The award-winning journalist has covered the Buckeyes since 2012, spending five of those seasons working for ESPN after previous stints at the Casper Star-Tribune and Knoxville News Sentinel.

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