There’s an old saying in football—you’re only as good as the 300-pound offensive linemen in front of you.
Well, that’s not an actual adage, but it might as well be for Ohio State this season.
The Buckeyes are undergoing a near-complete overhaul up front in 2014. Urban Meyer and offensive line coach Ed Warinner need to replace four senior starters, all of whom spent multiple years in the first-team rotation.
Ohio State’s season—and on a secondary level, Braxton Miller’s Heisman Trophy hopes—will be riding on the wide shoulders of those big guys in the trenches.
According to Bill Rabinowitz of The Columbus Dispatch, Warinner believes he has the right players:
We have some good young players and some older ones who haven’t played much. What we lack is experience, but I think we’re going to have enough talent. I know we have a good work ethic. They’re tough. They train hard.
Taylor Decker, the sole returner who started all 14 games at right tackle last season, is moving to the left side to protect Miller’s blind side. He’ll be expected to lead a very young group through spring practice.
Through one week, Decker thinks the competition is lifting the unit’s energy.
“Guys are flying around trying to make a good effort and make a good impression on the coaches,” Decker said, according to Kyle Rowland of Eleven Warriors. “That’s good to have, guys working hard giving it all they have every play.”