Price is right for Bucks offensive line, Prince improving, right guard still up for grabs


COLUMBUS -- Junior right tackle Isaiah Prince talked like a new man Monday, filled with confidence and not looking back but forward.

Prince struggled at times in 2016 and said he often lingered on mistakes he made instead of moving on to the next play. "Confidence is the biggest thing," Prince told reporters Monday after practice.

"He's really accepted an accountability that's allowed him to move on and take such a big step from a year ago," senior center Billy Price said.

The right guard spot still appears in flux with Malcolm Pridgeon, Matthew Burrell, Demetrius Knox and Branden Bowen rotating in practice.

Coach Greg Studrawa also met with the media following practice. Studrawa is in his second year coaching the position group at Ohio State. His unit returns four starters from last season, including the All-American, who is making the move to center as a fifth-year senior, similar to Pat Elflein’s move to the position last year. Elflein went on to be a second round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings.

Price has started 41 consecutive games. Luke Fickell has the school record with 50 consecutive starts and Pat Elflein has the record with 55 games played.

LT Jamarco Jones was named second-team all-Big Ten last season and RG Michael Jordan, the first freshman to start along the line since Orlando Pace in 1995, was a freshman All-American.

All four returning starters – the fourth is RT Isaiah Prince – started all 13 games last season and each amassed more than 900 offensive snaps.

Coach Greg Studrawa on the ideal number of offensive lineman you’d like to have ready to play: “Eight or ten. You want to get backup at tackle, you want to get a backup at guard, and obviously you need a backup center. I think right now we’re on the path to have more than one.”

On the depth of the offensive line: “Unbelievable. It’s way different from where it was last year, the confidence in these guys. There are three guys in some spots getting reps because they’re doing so well. So that’s exciting. That creates competition and helps you build a cohesive line.”

On redshirt sophomore Matthew Burrell: “I think it’s one of those things where you see young guys come in, and they’re doing things and getting opportunities, and one day the switch goes off and they realize ‘I guess I better go.’ That’s the best way I can describe what’s happened to Matt. He’s realized ‘I’ve got to go, this is my time, I’ve been here long enough. It’s time to perform.’ That’s exactly how he’s practicing, that’s exactly how he’s watching film.”

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