Ohio State football: Filling hole at center might be biggest offseason task for Buckeyes
All week long, our Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes address pressing questions on the minds of the Ohio State fan base with our daily feature. To ask Austin Ward a question, follow along on Twitter and suggest a topic right here. Check back Monday through Friday as we dive into the Ohio State Question of the Day. Go here to see all of our previous answers.
Oline concerns. Hope Taylor can play center. Pretty confident at QB, DT, and LB
— rick ernst (@rick1960impala) January 2, 2018
All the next center at Ohio State has to do is follow in the footsteps of back-to-back Rimington Trophy winners. No pressure, right? Just go out there and become the best player at the position in the country in a spot that Urban Meyer routinely points to as being absolutely crucial for his power-spread offense.
So, who is up for the challenge of taking the torch handed down from Pat Elflein to Billy Price? If nothing else, Ohio State isn’t short on candidates, including a few who were among the most coveted recruits in the country. And heading into spring practice, it appears that Brady Taylor will be at the top of the list when the battle begins.
Price has already given his seal of approval to Taylor sliding into that spot, and the rising senior will have the advantage of four years of physical development in the program and intimate knowledge of Ohio State’s system. But that won’t guarantee anything considering how heated the competition could get with Matthew Burrell potentially sliding over from guard, or somebody like Jack Wohlabaugh rising up and making a push. Maybe it could even be a place for former 5-star recruit Wyatt Davis to find a home and contribute next season.
(UPDATE: Scratch Wohlabaugh off the list following his announcement that he will be transferring to Duke.)
Ohio State has obviously had incredible success moving guards to the middle of the line and watching them thrive right away, so even without anybody with much prior game experience as the snapper, there are plenty of options to take over that key role. Taylor may have a bit of a head start when camp opens in March, but what plays out over those next 15 practices will be fascinating to watch.
Odds are, there will be other position battles that get far more attention. But when it comes to determining how successful the Buckeyes can be next season, finding a reliable center is high on the to-do list.