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Ohio Football Spring Practice Position Spotlight - Offensive Line

Ohio Football Spring Practice Position Spotlight - Offensive Line

Gone: Jake Pruehs, Jared McCray

Returning: Joe Anderson, Felipe Fernandez, Marques Grimes, Steven Hayes, Cole Irland, Samson Jackson, Brett Kitrell, Kyle Kuhar, Joe Lowery, Hagen Meservy, Adam Notestine, Austen Pleasants, Brody Rodgers, Nick Sink, Jylton Tusha, Durrell Wood

Arriving: Kurt Danneker (early enrollee, signing class '18), Patrick Gilliland (signing class '18), Bryce Ramer (signing class '18)

Analysis

The Ohio offensive line is a mostly complete group from a year ago where they helped the Bobcats offense become one of the most powerful in the Mid-American Conference. Ohio returns four of five starters along the offensive line as center Jake Pruehs departs due to graduation. Ohio also lost tackle Jared McCray who was hampered with injuries but was a regular starter through most of his career. 

Ohio returns starters from last year Joe Anderson, Joe Lowery, Austin Pleasants and Hagen Meservy while they will also get Durell Wood who picked up a sixth year of eligibility after getting injured early in camp last year. Brett Kitrell also returns who saw extensive action as a freshman.

Behind their stout line up front, Ohio's offense set records in points scored in a season (508), scoring average (39.1), yards per carry (5.7) and rushing touchdowns (44). The offensive line also generated 3179 rushing yards averaging 244.5 yards per game which led the MAC and ranked 16th nationally.

The offensive line also generated its first 1,000-yard rusher since 2012 in running back A.J. Ouellette who had 192 carries for 1,006 yards and seven scores. Along with Ouellette the emergence of dual-threat quarterback Nathan Rourke was able to develop thanks to the Bobcats strength up front.

Rourke set Ohio records in rushing touchdowns (21), points scored (132), touchdowns scored (22) and touchdowns responsible for (39) while going 161-292 passing for 2,203 and rushing for 912. Rourke had 21 rushing touchdowns, 17 passing touchdowns and caught a pass for a score.

With nearly everyone returning, once Ohio finds its best fit at center, the Bobcats should be poised to have another solid year on the offensive line.

Quote from Bart Miller – Assistant Coach/Offensive Line

"I'll tell you what, our guys are awesome.  They work hard and are very talented. We're doing a few things technique-wise that are different then we have in the past, so just trying to get that fixed, and just keep getting better and better each day. If we can continue to develop and play the way I think we can, we'll be good."