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Football: Greg Studrawa continues to make decisions through head coaching change

Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa coaches his unit at a fall practice on Aug. 5. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor

PASADENA, Calif. — Ryan Day is focused on the Rose Bowl.

Although Day has not been shy in expressing his feelings towards taking the Ohio State head coaching job after his stint as offensive coordinator for the past two seasons under head coach Urban Meyer, the current offensive coordinator would not disclose the specifics of the position, the decisions he will make after he officially takes the job on Jan. 2.

He has not disclosed information regarding his coaching staff for the 2019 season other than taking the interim tag off wide receivers coach Brian Hartline on Dec. 8.

“Right now it’s all about winning this game,” Day said. “It’s on us right now. That’s where the focus is.”

Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa is one of the position coaches seemingly in limbo, not knowing whether his contract will be retained when Day officially takes over.

Studrawa has a similar story to many other coaches on the roster, including defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and linebackers coach Billy Davis. After leaving the offensive line coaching job at Maryland in 2015, Studrawa joined the Ohio State staff because of a close friend: Meyer.

“I’m going to miss him, obviously, because we are friends,” Studrawa said. “I came back to coach for him and obviously that is a part of our relationship that I am going to miss, seeing him every day and doing those things.”

Studrawa knows his job is in flux, something he said is part of the business. He said he has to focus on his current job: getting his offensive line ready for its Rose Bowl matchup with Washington on Tuesday.

However, Studrawa said he has been given no indication that he would be losing his position after the leadership change from Day. He and Day have discussed plans for the future on the offensive line, significant plans that are vital for success of the line in 2019.

“We’ve had discussions of when we get back, what is going to happen with the line, how are we going to get this thing moving forward,” Studrawa said. “Those things, we have talked about a plan with him being the boss.”

And one of those plans has begun being implemented in bowl practice.

If junior Michael Jordan returns to Ohio State for his final season of eligibility, he said Saturday he wants to return to left guard, the initial position he held with Ohio State and was an All-American for before moving to center. With Jordan back at his original position, Day and Studrawa told redshirt freshman Josh Myers he would be the leading candidate for the starting center position heading into the 2019 season.

To Myers, it’s an honor to be considered for this position, following in the footsteps of who he considered to be elite guard-turned-centers: Jordan, Pat Elflein and Billy Price.

As a converted center himself, Myers said it takes a level of experience, a level of confidence and vocal leadership to take charge of the position in the middle of the offensive line. Even though he may be the favorite for the position heading into 2019, he said job security is no guarantee.

“It’s something I will still have to fight for,” Myers said. “I understand that it’s not going to be a position given to me. It’s an elite position with a lot of really good players that have been there in the past. It’s something I have to go win for myself. It’s not given and I understand that.”

That is a recent history Studrawa was there for, molding Price, molding Elflein into two Rimington Award winners, two NFL-caliber centers after spending three years at guard. He helped Jordan, even though he is moving back to his original position next season, to have an All-American season in the middle.

This was something Studrawa mentioned when talking about his own job security, talking about how Ohio State held a top-ranked offense and had All-Conference players on his line.

Studrawa knows football is a business. He knows that it’s Day’s decision to make.

But, at this point, Studrawa is going to continue to coach the offensive line, preparing his unit for the 2019 season.

“It’s unbelievable, but you know what? That’s part of this business, everybody understands it, you know, and you hope that you’ve done a good enough job and you’ve got the proof in the pudding, and that the guy wants you on his staff,” Studrawa said. “I’ve got no indications otherwise, so I’m looking forward to getting the guys ready to play this game.”

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