No. 119: Corey Linsley, #71, C, Ohio State
2011 Stats: Backup guard/center
Few, if any Buckeyes have undergone as complete a transformation as Linsley has under Urban Meyer, and for that he finds himself starting at center and leading a reloading offensive line. Linsley's strength has always been there, but coaches can now count on his focus and commitment as well, and that's how Linsley won the center job so easily in the spring of 2012.
What Linsley still lacks, however, is a lot of game experience. He was a backup throughout his first three years on campus, and one would have hoped for more physical development to show for that amount of time in the program. He was also suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules last season. One would think most of these weaknesses are things of the past, though.
Linsley is a new starter in a conference full of very good returning starters at center, so no matter how well he does in 2012, he's a longshot for postseason honors outside of maybe an All-Big Ten honorable mention. Awards for offensive linemen usually trend a year late anyway, though.
As for what comes on the field, Linsley won the center job so thoroughly that the expectations for him should be as high as anybody else's on the line, up to and including Jack Mewhort. Linsley might not be Mike Brewster, but he doesn't have to be; as long as he's tough, aggressive, and smart, Ohio State's rushing attack and pocket should both be improved substantially from last year.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!