There is no sugarcoating what happened two years ago for Isaiah Prince at Ohio State, and there’s nowhere for an offensive lineman to hide when things go wrong.
The only response, though, is to learn the painful lessons, get back to work and make sure it never happens again. And clearly Prince has emerged on the other side all the better for the experience as he heads into his senior season now as one of the best blockers in the Big Ten and a future NFL draft pick.
Sure, that might have been hard at times to envision when he was struggling on the road against Penn State as a sophomore. But almost anybody who has ever played tackle has had to endure some rough patches and lose a few individual battles. Looking at the film from that game, though, and comparing it to another performance against Penn State just a year later shows just how much work Prince put in to become a foundation of the unit for Ohio State.
The footwork, the way he used his arms and the confidence Prince played with were all noticeably improved, and a big part of any offensive success is going to come from the play of the guys in the trenches. As a former Ohio State lineman myself, I’ve spent time working with Prince and know he’s coachable, understands the position and clearly has the physical tools to get the job done at 6-foot-7, 310 pounds. Whether he stays on the right side or flips to the left, the Buckeyes won’t have to worry about him when it comes to protecting new starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
For my first episode of BuckIQ, I’m looking at just those two outings against Penn State to see just how far Isaiah Prince has come and what might be setting him up to end his career with Ohio State on a high note. And if you need to catch up on any previous editions with my fellow Lettermen, check out those breakdowns right here.