A dozen days into preseason practice, Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa doesn’t sound close to picking a new starter at right guard, but he likes what he has seen from Josh Myers.
“Really good — He’s learning things,” Studrawa said Monday of the freshman from Miamisburg who was one of the top-rated players in Urban Meyer’s 2017 recruiting class.
“I’ll tell you right now, he is so strong physically, and he’s an excellent, excellent run blocker,” Studrawa said. “We’ve had to work on his pass blocking. He was in that offense where it was just put four hands on the ground and come off the ball and kill somebody, so he’s learning to work on the pass protection, moving his feet, but he is a really strong, physical run blocker and we’re working on the rest of his game.”
Being behind in pass blocking is not unique for a freshman, especially one from a run-oriented offense such as Miamisburg’s (98 passes, 359 runs last season).
However, Studrawa said he would rather teach Myers the finer points of pass protection than work with a player who came out of a pass-oriented system without as much experience grinding on opponents in the run game.
“There’s that old saying — if they bite (early) and they come off the ball and know how to run block and they’re physical, I can teach ‘em the other things,” Studwara said.
The coach did not rule out Myers or fellow freshman guard Wyatt Davis from winning a starting spot, but the first three players he mentioned as candidates to replace Billy Price (who moved to center) were Malcolm Pridgeon, Demetrius Knox and Matthew Burrell.
Brandon Bowen is also having a strong enough preseason for the coaches to consider moving him from tackle to guard.
Price, a fifth-year senior, four-year starter and one of the team’s most respected spokesmen, said Myers is fitting in well.
“He’s going with the (second team) right now,” Price said. “I think he’s a really good freshman. He’s really strong. He’s got some maturing to do. He’s a freshman.”
Left tackle Jamarco Jones is among those impressed by Myers’ strength as well.
“Once he learns the offense and gets going, he’s going to be really good,” Jones said.