There truly is only one player on the football field who touches the ball every play, that would be the center. Responsible for starting every play with the snap, the center is rarely recognized unless for a less than stellar performance. The only thing that may be more annoying than a false start is an errant snap, especially if it ends up in the hands of the opposition. Luckily for the Buckeyes they have a true stalwart at the position in Corey Linsley.
Coming into Ohio State as a four star offensive lineman is a formality, the Buckeyes bread big movers, and Linsley has turned out to be a great one. Hailing from Youngstown, Ohio, Linsley has already been added to the Rimington award watch list for the 2013 season, which will honor the nation’s best center. This is an award Buckeye centers are familiar with being nominated for, as during its 15 year existence there have been four finalists. Even with the list of great Ohio State centers, only one has won the award; LeCharles Bentley.
Having a center that can be relied upon is sometimes overlooked by the average football fan. Everyone knows about the left tackle,
protecting the quarterback’s blind side, but the center rarely gets the attention he deserves. The main job of the center is to call out blocking assignments, blitz pickups and likely the entire blocking scheme of the upcoming play. Recognition of the defensive alignment is key, as an unblocked man or missed switch on the line can turn a touchdown run into a 5 yard loss.
Needless to say, playing center requires a smart football mind, with quick reactions to changing schemes and the ability to be the leader of the offensive line unit. Linsley has shown all of these traits, already lettering 3 years as a Buckeye and starting 28 games. Coming off of a foot surgery, Linsley looks ready to continue the undefeated streak he helped begin.
Oh, and that football mind? He’s also one of the strongest guys on the team, benching over 500 pounds.