Tim Gardner Is (Finally) A Buckeye!!

Written July 29th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Agility? Check.

Great news for a Saturday; it’s great to come back from a vacation to read that Indianapolis Lawrence Central’s Tim Gardner has become the 16th member of the Ohio State 2013 recruiting class.

Gardner initially “verballed” back in June, but was informed that his commitment wasn’t quite necessary at this time- there’s speculation that the Buckeyes wanted to see his discipline in the form of some conditioning.

He did the work, and was seen as a part of Friday Night Lights working with Buckeye great and offensive guru LeCharles Bentley… you can check his form in the photo to the right, from our friend Josh Winslow.

The off field dedication, the passion and potential that LeCharles saw in him all led to the staff welcoming him as a part of this incoming class. At 6′ 5″ and 300+ pounds, he’s projected as a guard at Ohio State, although he currently plays tackle at Lawrence North, an Indianapolis powerhouse. You can get a glimpse of his work in this Hudl.com highlight video- pay attention to his feet and agility, as well as his propensity for finishing blocks.

Gardner is currently rated a “three star” by some recruiting services, although there’s a lot of speculation that this will change as Tim continues to work through his senior season.  He held offers from Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue, and Louisville as well as Ohio State.

With Gardner in the fold, there’s speculation that Ohio State may only take one more offensive lineman in the upcoming class. If that person is willing to work as hard as Tim did to earn his place in the scarlet and gray, it’ll be an elite group coming in.

Welcome to the Buckeye Family, Mr, Gardner!

BBN Ohio State Spring Game Preview: Offensive Line

Written April 20th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

To get Buckeye Nation ready for the first Spring Game in Urban Meyer’s tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeye Bloggers Network wanted to take an in-depth look at each position following spring practice.  Be sure to check out all of the coverage!

Thank you to all the writers who are participating in this, and a HUGE thank you to Grant from Buckeye House Call for creating our graphics!

The easy comment on the offensive line, be it at Ohio State or nationwide, is that the season will hinge on their performance.

Again, that’s the standard answer, but I have to believe that this year it bodes more true than ever in Columbus.  There are playmakers elsewhere on Offense, and the Defense (while thin in places) has the potential to be terrifying for opposing offensive coordinators.

But the Buckeye Offensive Line is a mystery at this point; which was evidenced merely looking at Coach Meyer’s emphases on the recruiting trail beginning last season. It’s not enough that they are replacing both tackles and their four year starter at center. It’s not enough that they are now “loaded” with talent amassed by James “Meh, one guard a year is all we need” Bollman, who annually defined the word “reach” with the recruiting offers he seemed to facilitate.

Nope, in addition to those obvious concerns comes this- the team’s offensive identity is taking a major shift. Gone are the days of “Dave, Dave, Draw, Punt”; we now have an offensive scheme that requires linemen to a) be in top cardiovascular shape and b) pass block as effectively as run block. In other words, there’s some coachin’ to do.

So, if you’re like me (my condolences), you’re incredibly interested in seeing how the anchor of the team’s successes will look on Saturday. Will Braxton’s runs in the fall be designed or out of necessity?  Will long runs be due to Jordan and Carlos and Rod and Brionte’s talent, or due to the gaping holes that are waiting for them? Will my summer be spent in quiet confidence or wondering instead how what the record for most “three and outs” by a Buckeye team might be?

Saturday gives us our first clue.  Onward.

What will be most different this year than last?

We’ve talked about the tempo and scheme being gently called “the polar opposite of Tresselball”, let’s take a look at the new faces in the new places. First, the team lineups: Read More

Evan Lisle is a Buckeye!

Written February 28th, 2012 by Jim

Centerville offensive tackle Evan Lisle, the newest member of Ohio State's 2013 class.

Ohio offensive lineman Evan Lisle has announced he will be a Buckeye this evening, becoming the fifth member of Ohio State’s 2013 recruiting class.

Being from the Buckeye friendly town of Centerville and having recently received an offer from Ohio State, this commitment doesn’t come as a surprise, although it is still nice to officially welcome another player into the 2013 class.

I recently previewed offensive line recruiting, and this is what I said about Lisle yesterday:

Listed at 6’6″ 265, Lisle has a great frame to go along with above average athleticism- he can run well at the second level and get to his blocks in open space (highlights).

I see right tackle in his future.

Rated as a four-star by Rivals, Lisle currently holds offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Miami (FL) among others.

Even with such an impressive list, being an Ohio kid from an extremely Buckeye-friendly school, it would be quite the shock if Lisle doesn’t commit to Ohio State.

This is clearly a great start to Ohio State’s offensive line class, but there is still more work to be done.

If you didn’t click on the link to the highlights above, here they are again. Read More

Ohio State Recruiting: 2013 Offensive Line

Written February 27th, 2012 by Jim

Winning the battle in the trenches starts with recruiting players like Centerville's Evan Lisle. (247 Sports)

When looking at offensive line recruiting, it is simplest to break things down into two categories: interior players and tackles.

In 2012, the Buckeyes had a serious need at tackle, which they helped address by signing Kyle Dodson and Taylor Decker.

They also signed projected interior players Jacoby Boren, Pat Elflein and Joey O’Connor.

Boren and Elflein could play defense, and O’Connor could play right tackle- but for right now two tackles and three interior players is what the 2012 class looks like.

Looking ahead to 2013, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes are hoping to add depth across the board, but they will be focusing largely on tackles yet again.

Right now the staff is primarily targeting national players, but there are plenty of Ohio linemen that can earn an offer at camp as well.

Here is the breakdown. Read More

Scarlet Assassins Reloaded: Offensive Line

Written August 29th, 2011 by Jim


Jack Mewhort, starting left guard.

Last week I covered the awesomeness that is the Silver Bullet defense (line, linebackers, and secondary). I strongly believe that the defense alone is good enough to win nine games this season- regardless of what happens on the other side of the ball.

Nine wins is good at a lot of schools, but for Buckeye fans that is a borderline bad year.

To have a great season, and more importantly for Coach Fickell to secure a long term contract, the Scarlet Assassin offense will need to step up to win above and beyond nine games.

In this regard, “Scarlet Assassins” is an appropriate nickname for several reasons; most importantly because they will move against their opponents slowly and meticulously before delivering the fatal blow.

An eight minute fourth quarter drive capped off by Zach Boren leading Carlos Hyde into the end zone for the game icing TD has a nice ring to it.

Slow and meticulous or the greatest show on turf; as always, the line will be the key to success on offense.

Here is player by player look at the two-deep. Read More

Way Too Early Look: 2011 Offensive Line

Written January 31st, 2011 by Jim

As the saying goes, games are won in the trenches. Cliche or not, a dominating offensive line can take a team to the next level. See: Wisconsin.

With three senior returning starters to anchor the line, Ohio State has the makings of domination in 2011.

Unfortunately, we haven’t reached the point in these ‘way too early’ previews where I don’t have to mention suspensions. Mike Adams, the returning starter at LT, will be serving a suspension to begin the year.

Scratch one of the senior anchors… at least for a few games.

The suspensions go a bit deeper than that for the offensive line… indirectly. With a new QB, inexperienced receivers, and a deep and talented backfield, the trenches will become even more important than usual for the Buckeyes.

Whether it is protecting an inexperienced QB for an extra second or opening holes for dynamic young runners, the offensive line will be the crucial group of players that can  get the team through the suspensions without a loss.

Here’s a look at those players. Read More

Youth Movement in the Trenches

Written August 24th, 2010 by Jim

The next big thing in the middle?

There are a lot of things to get excited about for the upcoming season.

Returning starters, award candidates, dominating lineman, dynamic receivers,  depth at running back, hard hitting linebackers, the most experienced offensive line in years… take your pick.

Whatever you want to talk about in the last days before kickoff, there is probably something that causes optimism to burst forth in the hearts and minds of Buckeyes everywhere.

It is difficult to narrow the list and pick just one thing to be the most excited about, but the young guys on the offensive and defensive lines are a dark horse candidate.

Depth in the trenches is crucial for any team to make a championship run, and the young lineman at Ohio State are proving in practice that they are up to the challenge of seeing the field.

If you haven’t already, add youth in the trenches to your numerous sources of optimism and excitement. Read More

Way Too Early Look: Offensive Line (updated)

Written April 15th, 2010 by Jim

The offensive line is probably the most publicized position at the moment due to missing out on three prospects on signing day. Update: not so much anymore, but LT is still one of the most interesting position battles this spring.

Those signing day disappointments also makes depth along the offensive line an area of concern for many Buckeye fans. Throw in the fact that Ohio State only loses one lineman (Jim Cordle) from 2009 and only gains one (Andrew Norwell) heading into 2010 and I would call the offensive line an ideal place to begin our look at next season.

Oh yeah, and the line is going to be good next season, maybe really good.

Many fans were disappointed to the point of calling  the 2010 recruiting class a bust due to the high profile recruiting misses last week. Well I am here, as always, to inject some optimism into the conversation for this season specifically, and for the future of the offensive line in general.

First let’s talk about the 2010 season. Ohio State has four returning starters along the offensive line, which is nice by itself. These four helped pave the way for well over 200 yards rushing per game over the last five contests of the 2009 regular season, which is even nicer.

Throw in the fact that the Buckeyes have quality young depth from the 2009 recruiting class and things look pretty good… at least to me… at least for the 2010 season.

In fact, I would even say that the 2010 offensive line could be the best of the Tressel era. The best in the Big Ten? Possibly. The best in the country? We can only hope.

The key to the offensive line achieving greatness? Two questions need to be answered. Who will play at left tackle? and can the line stay healthy?

Left tackle has been a question mark since the beginning of last season. With an extra year of experience under their belts, hopefully the two main contenders to fill the position can solidify their spot in the starting lineup, extra bonus points if they solidify it early in the spring. Update: Mike Adams appears to be relatively solidified as the starter, but Miller is still getting reps with the ones.

Health is the other major concern for the line. Last year injuries ravished the line early in the season, and the resurgence of the run game at the end of the year may have been simply due to the starting line returning to full strength.

Can the line stay healthy in 2010 and continue the momentum they established at the end of last season?

If they can… happy times.

Join me after the jump for a closer look at the each position as well as a look at the depth situation and possible future recruiting targets. Update: I took out the recruiting update, there will be lots of posts focusing on the recruiting after the spring game, also, Ohio State signed four offensive lineman between the time I posted this and now.

Read More