INDIANAPOLIS – Most Ohio State fans were not surprised when both Paris Johnson Jr. and Dawand Jones opted to head to the NFL but there may have been more of a shock when center Luke Wypler left Ohio State with eligibility on the table.
Wypler checked in at 6-foot-3, 303 pounds with a wingspan of 31 and 5/8th inches. In a draft that it not very deep at the center position, the Montvale (N.J.) product could hear his name called sooner rather than later as opinions are still mixed to where he may land.
It has only been a recent thing for offensive linemen to leave college after three seasons, but it is becoming a little more of a regular occurrence. It may not have been the plan going into Ohio State for Wypler but sometimes things just work out.
“That wasn’t kind of what I had envisioned,” Wypler said. “But that’s how it turned out, and I’m thankful I’m healthy and on to the next level.”
The decision to move on to the NFL is always an exciting one but often times is a difficult one. It was something that Wypler had to weigh both sides of and ultimately the decision to leave won out.
“Coming out was something that really weighed on me and having a great program like Ohio State and the NFL is two decisions,” Wypler said. “I guess you couldn’t have really made a bad decision, I kept telling myself. Whatever I choose, I knew I was going to be alright. And for me, the NFL just made more sense at the time.”
Wypler started at center for the Buckeyes for two seasons but there have been teams that have talked about the potential of playing center. With smaller rosters in the NFL than in the NCAA, versatility is never a bad thing and as with most players, make a roster and then figure things out.
The Buckeyes have two different offensive line coaches during Wypler’s career with the Buckeyes as he started off under Greg Studrawa and then Justin Frye recently came in and coached the conclusion of Wypler’s career. The addition of the new offensive line coach was a very big thing for Wypler.
“I think him coming in was one of the biggest things in my career,” Wypler said. “And for me, that’s a relationship and a person beyond football that I’m going to have for my life.”
And from the football side of things?
“Some of the things that he was able to bring to Ohio State. You ask me, Dawand, Paris, anybody that played for him this past season, I can’t express it more than enough that he was one of the key factors why I’m standing on this podium today,” Wypler said.
The Buckeyes have not had three offensive linemen taken in the same NFL Draft since the 2004 season, and in that year two players were taken in the 7th round while one was taken in the 4th. With Johnson and Jones being talked about as 1st/2nd round draft picks and then Wypler looking to be in that day two range, it could be a memorable day for Ohio State offensive line draft history.
We will all have to wait until April 27th-29th to find out when each of the linemen will come off the board and BuckeyeHuddle.com will be there with you every step of the way.