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Are we forgetting just how big JJ is as an addition to the OL?
— Johnny Bullet 🎙 (@ScarletGreatJL) June 28, 2019
Ohio State lost four starters from last season’s Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl winning team, making the offensive line a huge concern heading into the early stages of the offseason.
The Buckeyes addressed part of that problem in February when they added graduate transfer Jonah Jackson, who was an All-Big Ten honorable mention performer for Rutgers last season. He’s an experienced player who has lined up on a Big Ten offensive line for three seasons, and the Buckeyes have an opportunity to pair him with left tackle Thayer Munford to sure up the left side of that line.
So maybe, yes. The addition of Jackson might be gaining less attention than it should be.
But it seemed like a much bigger addition when he first committed than what it has turned out to be. Jackson is going to be an important player in the trenches for the Buckeyes, but he might not be as make-or-break as once thought.
Thank Nicholas Petit-Frere for that. Petit-Frere had one of the best springs of any Ohio State player on the roster, and he has all but locked down the spot at right tackle, which was a question mark for the Buckeyes. Petit-Frere had to pack weight on and eat 8,000 calories per day to become what he has grown into, and now, he’ll be called upon to be a huge cog for the Ohio State offense.
Branden Bowen, a one-time Ohio State starter in 2017, can play anywhere on the offensive line and proved he can be a Big Ten-caliber player two years ago before he broke his leg. His versatility cannot be understated heading into this season. If any starter is to go down with an injury, Bowen can surely step in and keep the line going.
And while Munford was out for the spring with injury and Jackson was finishing his career at Rutgers, the top two guards in the country from the 2017 recruiting class, Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers, were able to snag much-needed reps to add depth to the line. Davis will likely start at right guard. Myers will probably start at center.
Jackson will still be huge for the Buckeyes. As a redshirt junior, the 6-foot-4, 305-pounder started in 11 games for a team that finished second in the Big Ten in sacks allowed. That’s an impressive stat to hang a hat on.
But the emergence of other pieces along the line have made Jackson’s presence an added bonus rather than a necessity.
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