Left tackle Thayer Munford to return to Ohio State, use extra year of eligibility

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State tackle Thayer Munford, blocking against Northwestern in October 2019, said he was only 80% healthy last season but is full-go now.

Left tackle Thayer Munford is returning for a fifth season at Ohio State, taking advantage of the additional year of eligibility given to seniors by the NCAA due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He announced his decision Saturday morning, saying he hoped to continue pursuit of a national championship and finish his degree in order to fulfill a promise to his family.

The Buckeyes fell to Alabama in the College Football Playoff final on Monday night, a loss he recalled as “heartbreaking” in a graphic shared on his Twitter account.

“For the last four years I have been so close to lift up the trophy but came up so short,” he added. “We have to look into the future.

“With that said I am coming back for another year to achieve my goal and getting my degree.”

Cornerback Marcus Williamson was the first Ohio State senior to reveal plans to use the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility, informing reporters of his decision earlier this month. 

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Munford has started at left tackle since he was a sophomore in 2018 and developed into one of the top pass protectors on the Buckeyes’ offensive line. He will be the first four-year starter on the offensive line since Billy Price, who lined up at center and guard between 2014-17

Last fall, he was voted a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the league’s coaches and media members.

Only three other Buckeyes were consensus first-team honorees, a trio that included quarterback Justin Fields, right guard Wyatt Davis and cornerback Shaun Wade.

In eight games, Munford allowed only three total pressures, including no sacks, according to Pro Football Focus, the fewest among Ohio State’s starting offensive linemen.

Munford will be the most veteran offensive lineman for the Buckeyes next season after center Josh Myers declared for the NFL draft on Friday night. Davis is expected to do so as well ahead of Monday’s deadline for early entrants.

Other starters, including left guard Harry Miller and right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere, were in their second and third seasons with the program, respectively.