Fall Camp Observations From The Offense: Offensive Line Takes Shape, Quarterback Battle Continues

Ohio State opened up fall camp on Thursday, the first of 25 practices ahead of the team’s season opener at Indiana on Sept. 2, and Buckeye Sports Bulletin was at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to take in the entire practice session. Here are our instant observations from the offense as Ohio State’s preseason officially kicked off:

The quarterbacks were the biggest story entering the day, but there was not a ton of note as Kyle McCord and Devin Brown, as expected, both took reps with the group of first-teamers. McCord went first followed by Brown (then by Tristan Gebbia and Lincoln Kienholz), but both got their time with the first-team offensive line, receivers and running backs.

During seven-on-seven periods, the pair both had their moments, with the majority of their passes either in the short or intermediate range. Gebbia and Kienholz also looked solid in limited action, though Kienholz – understandably so considering it was his first practice at Ohio State – sailed a couple of throws. The lone interception of the day was thrown by Brown, as freshman safety Malik Hartford jumped the route and took the ball to the end zone.

As for the offensive line, the first team – from left to right – was Josh Fryar, Donovan Jackson, Carson Hinzman, Matthew Jones and Zen Michalski. The second team featured Luke Montgomery, Austin Siereveld, either Jakob James or Victor Cutler Jr., Enokk Vimahi and Tegra Tshabola, while Trey Leroux and freshmen Josh Padilla and Miles Walker all mixed in with the third team.

Transfer Josh Simmons, who many expected to compete for the opening right tackle job, instead repped with the third team. It was only his first practice at Ohio State, though, and he could climb up the depth chart in the coming weeks. Also of note, Jones took a handful of snaps at center during a separate drill off to the side, indicating that Ohio State could rely on him to slide over from guard in an emergency.

Nothing unusual to report at any of the skill positions, as everyone is back and healthy for Ohio State. Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming went out with the first team while Jayden Ballard, Carnell Tate and Xavier Johnson stepped in for the second team, with Kojo Antwi, Kyion Grayes and freshmen Brandon Inniss, Bryson Rodgers and Noah Rogers also rotating in at points. There was not a ton of opportunity for the receivers to show off, though Rodgers did have an impressive deep catch after burning cornerback Jermaine Mathews Jr. down the middle of the field.

The running backs ran in the order of TreVeyon Henderson, Miyan Williams, Evan Pryor, Dallan Hayden and Chip Trayanum, though that grouping was mixed up at times and it likely doesn’t represent what the eventual depth chart might look like. In his return to the field, Pryor looked full-go for Ohio State.

At tight end, incumbent starter Cade Stover led the way, followed by Gee Scott Jr., Joe Royer, Patrick Gurd, Bennett Christian and Sam Hart, though Royer and Scott did seemingly alternate with the second and third teams. Jelani Thurman did not participate in every drill, though he was present for the majority of the split-field portion of the practice, working as a blocker and going downfield as a receiver.