COLUMBUS — Lakota West grad Tegra Tshabola is one of the players on the spot this spring for Ohio State football.
Head coach Ryan Day revealed Tuesday the redshirt freshman is going to compete with third-year player Zen Michalski to be the team’s starting right tackle.
That was the decision after some deliberation by Day, offensive line coach Justin Frye and the rest of the staff after starting tackles Paris Johnson Jr. and Dawand Jones both opted to enter the 2023 NFL Draft.
Josh Fryar, a senior who started a game for an injured Jones late last season, is going to get the chance to be The Guy at left tackle while the others compete.
“We spent a lot of time figuring out if that was the right move, but we felt like making Josh the left tackle and then really having those guys compete at right tackle was the right play,” Day said. “It’ll take a little bit of adjustment for them.”
Michalski was the backup left tackle last season while Tshabola broke into the two-deep at right guard despite not arriving until summer workouts.
A very early commitment to Ohio State’s 2022 recruiting class, Tshabola came in somewhat under the radar, especially for a four-star prospect who was the No. 104 player nationally in his class, but fans might want to start getting to know him because the staff is high on his future.
“Tegra got a lot of (second team) reps for us last year,” Day said. “We see a lot of potential in Tegra, and you know I think every rep you get in Tegra is gonna to pay off in the long run. I think it’s a really good investment. Hoping that he can make a push.”
Michalski also was a four-star recruit, though at No. 306 nationally he was not as highly regarded coming out of Floyds Knob, Ind., in 2021.
“This is a big year for him,” Day said. “This is year three and so again, I don’t think we’ll get an idea until we put the pads on, but even then, we were talking about it as an offensive staff at this time last year and even into the middle and towards the end of spring our guys had a hard time blocking our front.
“I think they did a great job closing the gap throughout the summer.”
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