Josh Myers always seemed ready to join Ohio State’s offensive line.
He was a sophomore in high school in Miamisburg when he initially verbally committed to the Buckeyes, two years before he could sign a letter of intent with the program.
A reporter cracked earlier this month that it had been about 10 years since his commitment.
“I was 12,” Myers quipped in response.Get the news delivered to your inbox: Sign up for our BuckeyeXtra newsletter
Exaggeration aside, Myers has waited in the wings for a while. But the wait ends this season.
Myers, a third-year sophomore, is expected to start at center for the Buckeyes, the anchor of a reworked offensive line that returned only one starter from last season.
This is the first time Myers went through preseason camp with the Buckeyes in anticipation of an advanced role, though he said it didn’t alter his focus.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” he said. “I’m so excited. Before I came into camp, I really wanted to focus on going and taking it, going and getting that spot, not settling and saying, 'It's mine or it's not.' Regardless of the situation, I just really wanted to focus on going one way, and so that's been a focal point.”
Coach Ryan Day has not released an official depth chart for the season, which begins Aug. 31 against Florida Atlantic, but Myers has been viewed as the starting center since last season ended, and he took first-team reps in spring practice.
After the first week of preseason practices, offensive line coach Greg Studrawa praised Myers’ work ethic, saying he was “becoming a great player, working his tail off.”
“His attention to detail is unbelievable,” Studrawa said. “He’s becoming exactly who I thought he would become.”
Both 247Sports.com and Rivals.com, the predominant recruiting websites, rated Myers as the top Ohio prospect in the 2017 class. Myers starred at guard in a Wing-T offense in high school, before later moving to center with Ohio State.
The Buckeyes have found success moving guards to center in recent seasons. Both Pat Elflein and Billy Price, who won the Rimington Trophy in consecutive seasons as the best center in college football, moved over from guard, as did last season’s starter, Michael Jordan.
Hoping for similar success with his position switch, Myers said he tried to display a tighter focus in preseason practices to make up for his limited game experience.
“Every day I try and have that confidence,” Myers said. “And I try and play like I'm a veteran, even though I'm not.”
Myers is like several other OSU offensive linemen: inexperienced, but eager for an opportunity for playing time.
Despite the roster turnover, Myers expects the offensive line to be better than expected.
“You got to think, who are our four guys that left last year?” Myers said. “All of them are in the NFL, so that's tough. And we have a lot of good players who backed them up who haven't necessarily gotten the snaps yet but are going to do a great job.”
Myers pointed to others along the line, such as right guard Wyatt Davis, a fellow third-year sophomore who was waiting for his opportunity.
“On paper, it may not look as good as I think it's going to be,” Myers said.