Ohio State center Josh Myers declares for NFL draft

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State center jumps to high-five a fan after the Buckeyes' win over Cincinnati in an early-season 2019 game.

Josh Myers, a fourth-year junior who anchored Ohio State’s offensive line as its starting center for two seasons, announced on Friday that he plans to enter this spring’s NFL draft.

In a graphic shared on Twitter, he wrote, "Playing in the NFL has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and I am extremely excited to say that I am officially declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft."

Myers is the Buckeyes' second early entrant for the upcoming draft, following cornerback Shaun Wade who declared earlier Friday.

A native of the Dayton suburb of Miamisburg, Myers was recruited as an offensive guard, then switched to center soon after he joined the program in 2017. The move followed a pattern of previous Buckeyes who were shuffled along the interior of the offensive line.

Two of his predecessors, including Pat Elflein and Billy Price, both won the Rimington Trophy as college football’s top center, began their careers at guard.

Myers never captured the Rimington, but he was one of three finalists for the award this season and received other acclaim, including a selection to the All-Big Ten first team.

His effectiveness as a run blocker helped spring J.K. Dobbins to a 2,000-yard season in 2019, and the Buckeyes remained ranked among the top 10 nationally in rushing offense this fall, averaging 256.9 yards per game.

Advanced statistics confirmed Ohio State as one of the best run-blocking units. It averaged 3.2 line yards per carry, ranking fourth in the country, according to Football Outsiders.

Listed at 6 feet 5, 312 pounds, Myers brought a physical presence to the position and grew up among a family of offensive linemen.

His father, Brad, was a center and guard at Kentucky from 1984-87, and his oldest brother, Zach, was also a lineman for the Wildcats.

Myers also was one of the Buckeyes’ prominent leaders. He was voted as one of seven captains this season, and ahead of both College Football Playoff games, delivered motivational speeches to the team during pregame warmups.

Sophomore Harry Miller is viewed as the likely replacement for Myers at center next fall. He filled in during a Dec. 5 win at Michigan State when Myers was sidelined after testing positive for the coronavirus.

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman