Offensive Line Depth a Concern For Ohio State In 2013

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State compiled a top-three recruiting class this year on the strength of the best group of wide receivers and athletes and an impressive haul of defensive back recruits.

However, one area the Buckeyes struggled to bring in talent was at the offensive line positions where Urban Meyer was only able to secure commitments from two offensive linemen, Evan Lisle (Centerville, Oh. Centerville) and Tim Gardner (Indianapolis, In. Lawrence Central).

Lisle is a four-star tackle, but at 265-pounds needs a couple years to develop and add strength. Gardner is a three-star tackle that could only be a reserve player during his career at Columbus.

Ohio State returns four of the five starters along the line, losing only right tackle Reid Fragel to graduation and he will likely be replaced by rising sophomore, Taylor Decker. The real star on the offensive line and charged with the responsibility of protecting Braxton Miller is left tackle Jack Mewhort who enters his senior season as the unquestioned leader of the unit.

The depth of the unit will be reason for concern as it was last year, but because every starter remained healthy all season long, it wasn’t tested to the relief of Meyer. If one of them has to miss extended action this year, the highest scoring offense in the conference a year ago may see a dip in production.

Recognizing the importance of depth along the offensive line, Meyer has already gotten a jump on 2014 recruiting and has two commitments from offensive linemen, Kyle Trout (Lancaster, Oh. Lancaster) and Marcelys Jones (Cleveland, Oh. Glenville). Trout is among the highest ranked recruits next season and could be a future star at left tackle.

Hopefully for Ohio State the lack of 2013 reinforcements on the offensive line won’t come back to rear its ugly head and have Meyer regretting losing out on some top offensive linemen recruits.

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Patrick is the host of “The Wake-up Call,” on Sportstownchicago.com airing Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.

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