In the first practice of spring ball for the Ohio State Buckeyes, eyes were on the offensive line as the team sought to fill the void left by the departure of veteran right guard Matthew Jones. To the surprise of many, it was sophomore Luke Montgomery who was seen running with the first team at the vacated right guard position, signaling a potential changing of the guard for the upcoming season.

Jones, a seasoned player who had held the right guard position for the past two seasons, has graduated, leaving the spot open for competition. Speculation had been circulating that senior Josh Fryar, who started at right tackle last season, might shift inside to fill the role. However, it seems that the coaching staff is content with Fryar remaining outside, opting to give Montgomery a shot at securing the starting position.

Montgomery, a true sophomore, was the highest-ranked offensive line recruit for the Buckeyes in their 2023 class, boasting an impressive overall ranking of 120 nationally according to 247Sports. Despite being just a second-year player, Montgomery gained valuable experience in 2023, receiving playing time as offensive line coach Justin Frye’s “sixth lineman.”

The decision to give Montgomery the opportunity to compete for the right guard position makes sense, considering his athleticism and skill set. During a press conference following the practice, head coach Ryan Day spoke highly of Montgomery.

“He’s very athletic. He’s someone who to me is very skilled in a lot of areas. Making the transition to offensive line in the last couple years, we think he has a very very high ceiling….We also want to really look at him at guard. One, because that is sort of an open spot right now, and then two, we also think with his quickness he can get on guys quickly. He can bend, and that’s very very important with that position with some of the schemes we are going to be running. We think he has the skill set in order to do it.”

Ohio State Head Coach Ryan Day on OL Lule Montgomery

While Montgomery appears to be the frontrunner, there are other contenders for the position, including last year’s starting center, Carson Henzman. With the recent addition of Alabama transfer center Seth McLaughlin, speculation is mounting that Henzman could shift to right guard, allowing McLaughlin to take on the starting center role.

Another potential candidate is Enokk Vimahi, who started at right guard in the Cotton Bowl last season. However, Vimahi’s poor performance during that game may make him a long shot for the starting position.

For this news and more, check out the following video as The OHIO Podcast’s Eric Boggs and J.R. discuss the news coming out of Ohio State after their first day of spring practice.

YouTube player

As the spring ball practices unfold and the competition for the right guard position intensifies, all eyes will be on Luke Montgomery and his quest to secure a starting role in the Buckeyes’ offensive line. With Coach Day expressing confidence in Montgomery’s abilities, the young lineman may be poised to make a significant impact in the upcoming season.