The ‘Cats O-line in 2022 starts with a deep interior while looking to solidify the tackle spots
Heading into the 2021 season, Ohio was poised to make some noise in the MAC led by a talented, experienced, interior line, a mammoth senior left tackle, and a promising, underclass right tackle.
That lineup did not ultimately materialize as the starting left guard was lost for the season to injury in week one, the center lost multiple games due to a week-four injury, and the right guard appeared in only four games.
Ohio heads into 2022 anchored by the return of its guards to full-time duty and a battle-hardened center. How the Bobcats may ultimately fare could be determined by new starters at the tackle positions.
Here are some of the major players in the mix for the 2022 season.
Ohio’s interior line looks promising for 2022 given the returning starters, a JUCO addition, and returning depth.
The interior starts with right guard Hagan Meservy, a staple of Ohio football for a half a decade. Meservy made an immediate impact on the o-line, starting most of the games in his true freshman year. Overall, Meservy has appeared in over 40 games for the ‘Cats and his experience has him poised to be the leader of the crew in ‘22.
Left guard Kurt Danneker returns to fulfill the potential he displayed in 2019-20. The imposing 6’3”, 330 LB guard was poised for a breakout 2021 in his first full season as a starter but his year ended with a week-one injury. Danneker’s size and skiils may lead to his first All-MAC team award by season’s end.
Center Parker Titsworth had an important year in 2021. Titsworth earned a scholarship in fall camp last year and figured to back up center Nick Sink but was called into action when Sink went down to injury in week four versus Northwestern. Titsworth started the remaining games at center, gaining valuable experience he can build on heading into 2022.
With the loss of Nick Sink to graduation, the ‘Cats brought in an accomplished JUCO center Vance Van Every to provide depth and competition with Titsworth. The Northwest Mississippi product excelled on and off the field, earning academic honors in back-to-back season and post-season conference awards last year.
The interior line depth looks strong in 2022 for the ‘Cats, with multiple players that could see gameday reps. Some of those players include Christophe Atkinson, Bryce Ramer, Brody Rodgers, and Aidan MacDonald, all of whom appeared in five games or more in 2021.
The Bobcats go into 2022 looking at new starters at both tackle positions.
Multiple signs point to last year’s starting RT Jay Amburgey making the move to LT, replacing TJ Jackson, who departed for a professional career. Amburgey appeared in all 12 games for the Bobcats in 2021, and will likely be given the first chance to protect QB Kurtis Rourke’s blind side.
The right tackle position appears to be more of an open competition.
After appearing in the majority of contests in 2021 to spell Amburgey, Shedrick Rhodes Jr. should be in the mix to take over the RT job. According to preseason publications, players like three-star prospect Joe Habinowski may also get a chance to battle for time at RT.
The Bobcats have summer camp to finalize tackle positions before heading into to the season home opener on September 3rd against the Florida Atlantic Owls.
That does it for our o-line preview. Next time, we take a look at a compelling defensive front seven.