Left Tackle: Mike Adams (6-8, 322, So) No. 74
After an injury plagued freshman year at Ohio State Mike Adams comes into this season as the favorite to replace graduating senior Alex Boone.
Adams hoped to win a starting spot on the line last season before suffering a shoulder injury in spring practice. As the season progressed and the line continued you to struggle Adams got a shot to fill in for Boone against Purdue. Adams left the field after the game with his foot in a walking boot.
This season Adams comes into spring practice healthy and a disappointing injury riddled season can not wipe away all the success he had at the prep level. Adams, a U.S. Army All American, ranked nationally in the Top 100 from ESPN, Scout, Rival, Prep Star, and Superprep.
Adams has the NFL size at tackle that Ohio State looks for. At 6-8 he shows surprising athleticism with quick feet and good hands. In the run game he shows the technique and skill to make it to the second level and put a body on defenders.
Against the pass his lateral movement and hand gives him the ability to slow down any pass rusher. He is not a dominating tackle but his technique and athleticism will make him a staple at left tackle for the Buckeyes.
Left Guard: Jim Cordle (6-4, 297, Sr.) No. 64
Jim Cordle returns to the offensive line as the most experienced Buckeye starter and looks to anchor the line in 2009.
In 2007 Cordle entered into the starting lineup at Ohio State as a sophomore. His task was to replace Rimington Award finalist Doug Datish and the change has worked out well for Buckeye Fans.
He played most of the season with his right hand in a cast to protect a wrist fracture and snapped the ball with his opposite hand. His impressive play despite the injury earned him a a selection to ESPN’s all-Mayday team for toughness.
Last season, as a junior, Cordle again started at center for the Buckeyes before being moved to guard. Injuries to the line and overall underachievement forced Ohio State to make some changes. Cordle moved to left guard and made way for freshman standout Mike Brewster.
Cordle has exceptional quickness and plays low with power. His versatility and athleticism allows Ohio State to open up the running game, installing pulling plays designed to feature his mobility. His move to guard has worked out well and his success there will continue to make an impression this season.
Center: Michael Brewster (6-5, 296, So.) No. 50
Michael Brewster heads into his first full season of starting and hopes to build on his early successes.
Brewster came to Ohio State as part of one of the best recruiting classes to ever walk onto campus. The number one offensive linemen from the state of Florida accepted just as many awards as Terrelle Pryor. Brewster like Mike Adams was a U.S Army All-American and ranked in the top 100 from ESPN, Scout, Rivals, PrepStar, and Superprep.
Brewster is a gamer. He is a very physical and intense competitor and plays with a high motor. Ohio States line became instantly manageable with his entrance into the lineup. His athleticism makes him a good fit with Terrelle Pryor getting downfield and making plays when there is a breakdown.
Right Guard: Justin Boren (6-3, 310, Jr.) No. 56
Justin Boren joined the Buckeyes last season after transferring from Michigan. Boren left the wolverines to return to his home state citing that Michigan’s “Family Values” had eroded.
Boren started every game as a sophomore for Michigan at either center or guard. His experience and skill makes him as much of a lock on the line as Brewster. Having appeared in 18 games at Michigan he will begin his Buckeye career as one of the most experienced players on the line.
Don’t expect any early struggles as he transitions into the system, as Boren arrived in Columbus spring of 2008. Boren has great size and plays very physical he will start fast and finish this season as the best Buckeye linemen. Expect Boren to have just as much success on the line as the Buckeyes have against his former team.
Right Tackle: Bryant Browning (6-4, 312, Jr.) No. 70
Bryant Browning started all of last season at right tackle for Ohio State replacing All-American Kirk Barton. Browning played very well considering his inexperience and the poor play of the offensive line.
Coming into camp he will be the favorite at right tackle but he will face more competition at his position than any other player on the line. Like any young player, Browning at times struggled with false starts and penalties. But as the season progressed he proved he was the best answer for Ohio State.
Browning, a powerful run blocker, will be challenged from spring ball from J.B. Shugarts and Connor Smith. Browning’s starting experience will give him a good chance to hold onto the job…at least at the start of the season.