Josh Fryar Ohio State Buckeyes Right Tackle

Right Side Of Offensive Line Still A Concern, But Confidence Is High In Josh Fryar

Even though the Buckeyes are one of the favorites to win it all this year, that doesn’t mean they don’t still have questions. Despite having well over two dozen players with starting experience, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day is still in search of answers at a handful of positions.

Speaking with reporters earlier in the week, Day discussed some of those concerns on offense.

“We’ve got to square away the quarterback,” he said. “I feel like the offensive line on the right side, we’ve got to solidify that. I feel like we’ve got to build enough depth at receiver that we feel like we can put in five or six into the game and feel good about it.”

These are the same answers he gave to similar questions back in the spring. The Buckeyes went into spring camp looking for a new right guard. There was a thought that returning starting right tackle Josh Fryar could slide inside, but that was contingent upon somebody stepping up at right tackle.

To this point, the only person who has stepped up enough at that position is Fryar.

“We see Josh making a lot of progress,” Day said. “He’s had a really good spring and another good offseason. We felt like in the spring, he did a nice job there. So we feel like there’s just been a lot of progress made. I think coming off the last year, he built some confidence. And then he knows he can do it. He knows the areas he’s going to improve in in order for him to help us win the games we need to win. So we feel confident with him playing guard and tackle.”

In the search for help on the right side, the Buckeyes looked to the transfer portal in the spring just to weigh their options. It worked a year ago when they landed eventual starting left tackle Josh Simmons, but nothing ended up panning out.

“Just like in January, if we’re going to bring somebody in, it’s to fill a hole,” Day explained. “We’re not just going to bring somebody in to bring somebody in. Like at all positions, we’ll always look to see what’s out there. We did evaluate some of the guys that were out there and we felt like coming out of it, as we evaluated it, there was a couple of guys that we checked on, but ultimately based on where we were and some of the young guys that are coming up, we felt like we saw some progress in the offensive line in the spring. There weren’t as many folks in the portal after the spring. So, we looked at it and we identified and we did our due diligence, but we’re gonna go with what we have now.”

What they have now are a few promising possibilities.

Sophomore Luke Montgomery spent the bulk of the spring with the ones at right guard, but redshirt sophomores Tegra Tshabola and Carson Hinzman also got some good work at that spot. Hinzman started at center for the Buckeyes last year, so he’s got a good amount of experience. Together, those three give offensive line coach Justin Frye options. And certainly more options than what the Buckeyes have at right tackle, which is why Josh Fryar isn’t likely to move inside any time soon.

“We’ve got to figure out what that right side looks like,” Day said. “I would say we’re probably leaning towards playing [Fryar] at tackle and trying to figure out who that right guard is at this time. But we do have some flexibility there. And he’s been a leader for us, he’s on the leadership committee. And just looking at his numbers and how he’s changed his body, we’re expecting a big fall from him.”

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