Prior to Ohio State’s annual clash with rival Michigan last November, Josh Fryar went through Ohio State’s usual warm-up routine until he heard a pop.
Unknown to him at the time, Fryar had torn his ACL. Despite the typically catastrophic nature of the injury, he still suited up and played special teams snaps for the Buckeyes in the 42-27 loss.
Now, nine months removed from his injury, Fryar is competing to be Ohio State’s sixth-man on the offensive line. With attention to his quick recovery, he praised team physical therapist and athletic trainer Adam Stewart for pushing him during the rehabilitation process.
“Getting back, I thought was pretty easy. When you have Stew there, he’s a really good help,” Fryar said. “I think Stew wants you to work and makes you work. When he makes me work, I just feel better. He got me back in the timeline of eight months, so I feel like that’s really good.”
Fryar has primarily worked in as the No. 2 right tackle, behind incumbent starter Dawand Jones, during fall camp with his sights set on being the first tackle off the bench if an injury occurs.
With the No. 3 tackle spot up in the air between Fryar and second-year Zen Michalski, offensive line coach Justin Frye said the duo is competing hard during fall camp to create opportunities for themselves during the season.
“They’re just working, they’re buying in,” Frye said. “We talk about taking reps or using reps, those guys are using their opportunities. They’re using reps, whether they win the rep or lose the rep, they’re using those right now.”
While Fryar was unable to compete for the No. 3 tackle spot during the spring, he mentioned a need for leadership in the offensive line reserves as a primary motivator for him to get back to the field.
“The second team needed a little help, I think they needed leadership too and that’s why I’m coming back: to get that leadership into the second team,” Fryar said.
As Fryar has been a full participant in fall camp, he said he’s ready to make an impact in 2022.
“I want to play, I don’t want to sit back and wait,” Fryar said.