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Competitive, critical battle at right tackle was just heating up for Buckeyes

Paris Johnson-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Ohio State freshman Paris Johnson enrolled early, but he only got three spring practices. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Question Of The Day

Competitive, critical battle at right tackle was just heating up for Buckeyes

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 Ohio State and the delayed battle between Paris Johnson and Nicholas Petit-Frere? Send it in right here — and check back daily for the answers.

Ohio State clearly had no intentions of easing into a battle, and it also didn’t waste time trying to tap the brakes on any hype.

The pads weren’t on when the Buckeyes opened spring camp earlier this month, so the reps weren’t full speed. But the fact that Paris Johnson was getting some snaps with the first-string offensive line was certainly significant, and it sent a clear message to everybody at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on that Monday morning.

Johnson has a shot to be a rare freshman starter for the Buckeyes. Nicholas Petit-Frere isn’t going to just be handed the job at right tackle. And whenever the competition resumes after COVID-19 clears out and Ohio State gets back on the field, that battle might just be the most important on the roster.

“It’s just Day One,” Day said earlier this month. “It’s a long way before then. But, hey, [Johnson] is very, very talented. He’s got a lot of ability. And if he’s the best player, he’s going to play.

“The best players are going to play.”

Nicholas Petit Frere-Ohio State-Ohio State football-Buckeyes

Nicholas Petit-Frere is looking to claim the starting job at right tackle for Ohio State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Johnson’s arrival as an early enrollee was supposed to be the catalyst that allowed him to potentially add his name to the history books and start right away for the Buckeyes. Maybe it still will since he was able to go through winter conditioning, Mat Drills and three practices to at least get a taste of what it takes to play for the reigning Big Ten champions. And while missing the rest of spring is a setback for everybody in the program, a record-setting class of early enrollees will certainly feel the sting of only getting a week of practices after going to great lengths to get on campus a semester ahead of schedule.

There’s a chance that the Buckeyes could get those workouts back in the summer before training camp, although that is certainly not a guarantee right now. And while Petit-Frere also needed the spring to solidify himself as he tries to claim a regular spot in the lineup for the first time as a junior, he’s already got the kind of on-field experience, familiarity with the offense and comfort in the program that Johnson was working to overcome by jump-starting his learning curve. Maybe that will help give Petit-Frere the edge when the Buckeyes get back to work. Or maybe Johnson was already starting to show why he’s considered a potentially generational-caliber prospect at tackle, which is why he was sharing reps on Day One anyway.

No matter what, right tackle was shaping up to be a heated spring competition. It’s on hold now, of course, but that’s only going to add to the anticipation.

Miss any previous editions of Question of the Day? Catch up right here.

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That’s a great problem to have.



Brian yakata
Brian yakata

What about dawand?


we of the ‘sizing expertise’ – how could we miss Dawand? ;-{)}


Nice program guys. Thanks.
As for this topic….id say it’s like Urban Meyer used to say ” the future is bright at Ohio State”. I believe all this is happening most of all because of our coaching staff, first off, and also the other staff that is involved in recruiting, and the whole program, which is excellent also, and the successes we have had on the field, which comes from that ; which all adds up to good kids coming here.
We just have tremendous people on staff, from Gene Smith to Urban Meyer to Ryan Day, and all the others throughout the place. When one listens to these coaches and others, on Letterman Row and the other places they speak, and do interviews, it becomes very clear the number of high quality folks we have here, throughout.
Compare this to let’s say…Michigan’s staffs, and even other staffs around, and you realize again it’s always the individual people that make all the difference.
I think we are most blessed by this. And especially by our excellent leaders, Mr(s.)Smith, Meyer and Day. I believe to is going to be another great year ! Go Buckeyes !


I’d add also, we just have a wonderful head coach, Ryan Day. Pretty sweet going from Coach Tressel to Coach Meyer and now to Coach Day !
Not many schools have been so blessed.


indeed, “the battle is just heating up.”

it is appearing more and more like a “dynamic, situational, iterative contest of many players and factors and changes” where careful study of the nature and characteristics of the Adversary is worth continual scrutiny.

But to start, it appears this Adversary does not ‘care’; is not ‘fair; is abundantly mis-directional and deceptive; loves to divide and scatter our teams and groups…

Looking back… this Adversary… was doing similar things yesterday… up to ‘from the first time’ the first man tried to deflect responsibility and accountability onto the first woman.

Thus it would seem ‘anecdotally’ … that recognitions, definitions, plans, hope, and in all – love – are defined and fulfilled in His definitions, not mine, not my feelings.

Keep considering, keep choosing!

For man at his best ‘mitigates’… in his usual thoughts and behavior verifies Solomon’s ancient Ecclesiastical observation “so that we can see, we are but beasts”.

So our nice words, like ‘hope’ are of our illusions…

but His hope, His love…

well, don’t believe or trust me! Read all about it in His Book! ;-{)}

For He has – already, overwhelmingly, conquered !

Brian yakata
Brian yakata

Can’t they just rotate them? Play 2 olines even. This would prepare both players in case of injuries.

Brian yakata
Brian yakata

Besides we do it with the dline. Rush packages etc.
And wrs. We will play 6 or 8 wrs. Coombs plays at least 3cbs. And remember when tressel played 2 olines against texas on an extremely hot day.

Austin Ward

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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