Lindsay Could Provide Instant Results for Buckeyes

By Kyle Rowland on April 27, 2014 at 6:00a

At best, Ohio State solidified the center position. At worst, its added depth to a thinning offensive line.

The arrival of Alabama graduate transfer Chad Lindsay provides an unexpected but welcome boost for the Buckeyes’ inexperienced line. Departing seniors Jack Mewhort, Andrew Norwell, Corey Linsley and Marcus Hall appeared in a combined 187 games during their four-year careers. The double-digit list of players vying to replace them owns barely 20 starts between them.

Lindsay was part of two national championship-winning teams in Tuscaloosa and started four games last season. The former three-star recruit appeared in 20 games over a three-year period for the Crimson Tide. What he brings to Columbus is experience at a school that evaluates talent as well as any in America.

Jacoby Boren and Billy Price spent 15 practices battling for the starting center spot, but neither was able to create separation. Now, Lindsay joins the fray as the odd-on-favorite to become Braxton Miller’s shotgun partner.

The spring of 2014 was a whirlwind for Lindsay after a five-school blitz that included visits to Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Cal and Louisville. And Alabama wasn’t exactly opening the door and saluting his exit. The Tide toyed with the idea of center Ryan Kelly, an Ohio native, moving to left tackle and Lindsay assuming the center position. But they opted against the restructure, losing a valued piece of depth in the process.

Alabama’s loss is Ohio State’s gain.

Head coach Urban Meyer said after spring practice left tackle Taylor Decker and right guard Pat Elflein were the only offensive linemen to put their signature on the unit. Lindsay’s presence – all 6-foot-2, 302 pounds of it – adds another dimension and gives Ed Warinner a sigh of relief with summer approaching.

“We’ve had the luxury of having a very good offensive line the last two years,” Meyer said. “You were hoping some guys would step up [in the spring]. Some guys have gotten better, but not to the point where I tell you who the starting offensive line is.”

The 2013 Buckeyes set school records for points scored (637), touchdowns (87) and touchdown passes (38). They averaged nearly 310 yards rushing and 50 points per game. A quartet of senior linemen were the catalysts in every yard, touchdown and record.

That’s why there’s so much hesitancy and trepidation from Meyer, Warinner and others when pressed about the progression of the line. The unknowns are many. Coaches have stressed that it remains the biggest concern regarding the entire team, not just offensively.

“The offensive line has made a lot of improvement, but you’ve got a lot of young guys,” senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett said. “There’s a learning curve. But we still have a couple months to get everything ironed out. Personally, I think these are the most critical months where people make the most growth.”

Moving north to sit is not on Lindsay’s to-do list. He’s at Ohio State to play meaningful minutes, which gives the Buckeyes some options. If Lindsay is the starting center, Boren could be the backup and Price could slide over to right or left guard. Another possibility is for Price to be the backup and Boren to redshirt.

Lindsay is due to arrive in Columbus for the summer semester, and he’ll begin working with his teammates in earnest. Developing cohesion with the rest of the offensive line and Miller will be a must during the humid Ohio summer.

As Lindsay cultivates chemistry at Ohio State, Michigan deals with rejection. Lindsay’s former offensive coordinator, Doug Nussmeier, is heading the Wolverine offense, but he still couldn’t lure Lindsay to Ann Arbor. The end result is a win-win for Ohio State and a lose-lose for Michigan.

So why did Alabama want to shift Kelly, an All-SEC player, down the line? Because in four starts and as a reliable backup for two-time All-American Barrett Jones, Lindsay displayed the skill set needed in present-day centers. Both offenses and defenses have become more complex, giving centers quarterback-type roles in recognizing defensive formations and calling out protections.

Lindsay’s displayed the proper instincts to succeed in a Meyer-Tom Herman offense. He can analyze defenses in a matter of seconds, communicate with the offense and down block on running plays. A third solid lineman should also lessen any fear Miller might have about playing behind a green unit.

A high football IQ should bolster Lindsay’s standing among the coaches. When Kelly went down with an injury last season, Nick Saban and A.J. McCarron didn’t shutter or fear the following Saturday.

“Chad has been in the program. He’s a hard worker. He’s a strong guy, very smart, understands,” Saban said before Lindsay’s first start last season. “We have a lot of confidence in Chad, that he can go in there and do the job because he's done a good job for us in the past."

The accolades flowed again after Lindsay proved on the field that he could contribute to a resourceful offense and the then-No. 1 team in the nation.

“When he got an opportunity, he was able to take advantage of it in a positive way, which was helpful to the team,” Saban said. “It was also invaluable to his development as a player as well.”

In the end, it also was of value to Ohio State. 


Comments Show All Comments

buckeyedude's picture

Meyer did not bring in a player like Lindsay to sit the bench. He's got one year of eligibility, so he's going to be the starting center, and his experience will be invaluable, especially after playing on a championship team. Jacoby will get his shot. He just has to be patient.

One thing I'm wondering: Does anybody know if he is coming to Ohio State on scholarship since he is going for an advanced degree? He got his undergraduate degree at Bama, did he not? Also, where's BamaMike and what is his thinking on all this?




+7 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

To say he is going to be the starter with certainty is a bit off right now. He hasn't had a chance to play with Braxton or play in this offense. If he adjusts and performs well then sure he will likely be the starter. I think he is a leader for the job but wouldn't go as far as to say he is a shoe in. 

+2 HS
buckeyedude's picture

I respect your opinion Fromthe18, but I'd bet my left nut that Lindsay will be the starter.



+12 HS
bukyze's picture

And I'll bet my right one.

+5 HS
FloridaBuck's picture

Whoa lmao. 5 seconds apart. 

+1 HS
buckeyestu's picture

I will bet both of my nuts that he is the starter.

CincyOSU's picture

You guys clearly don't respect your testicles enough. I would never bet my Good and Plentys under any circumstance.

+3 HS
FloridaBuck's picture

I'd bet my right one

+2 HS
Buckeye5000's picture

I may be 51 but I'm not betting my nuts on anything, I might need them....besides I'd have to ask the wife to take them off her necklace and give them back....and I doubt she would do that, they were hard won. :(

2014 Undisputed National Champions!

+6 HS
CGroverL's picture

I've heard that we are nearing "Alabama type redshirt numbers" (that can't be true, right?). The addition of Lindsay could only bolster those numbers that we want no part of. I, too, can only see this move if Lindsay is here to start. My worries are more wondering if Lindsay really can handle the "hear the clap", "change the call (if need be)", and then "scream the cadence" while playing the center position soundly, of course. The article said he could, but I have a feeling that Ohio State's calls at the line are a bit different........being that the center gives the ball to the best weapon on the team constantly out of a shotgun offense. I admit though...I'm more of a defensive mind and understand offense much less than defense. If "Big Red" (Chad Lindsay, not that team from Lincoln) can EASILY understand that part of the center game at Ohio State, he should be a shoe-in for the starting spot.

One optimistic way of looking at this (from my warped point of view) is that during 4 games of last season, Lindsay was snapping the ball to last year's Heisman trophy winner. No...AJ McCarron did not win the Heisman, but since defensive players and offensive lineman are NEVER on the ballots, I have my own Heisman winners each season. A few seasons ago, Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi was my winner. Giving the ball to the offensive's most explosive weapon on EVERY snap is an important part of the way I see football.

Lindsay will start...and I can only hope The Ohio State is better (like I believe they are) at turning 3-star athletes into stars, such as AJ Hawk and James Laurinaitis, which either comes down to poor ratings out of high school OR DEVELOPING TALENT TO SUIT THEIR NEEDS. Hopefully, turning Lindsay into a piece of farm equipment with a brain won't be a big issue, even if they have just a partial year and possibly 7 games and 9 weeks against inferior opponents. We look at center as an "easier" OL position when it is possibly the toughest (when it comes to brains). It's great to have you as a Buckeye, Mr. Lindsay. Good luck and Go Buckeyes!!!








"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



+2 HS
Buckeyeboy's picture

Yes, Lindsay is a Bama grad. Based on NCAA regulation, Lindsay is eligible to play, on scholarship, for four yrs. Right now, it should be safe to assume, Lindsay is playing his final year of eligibility, with an Ohio State scholarship. It doesn't matter if he earned his undergraduate degree in less than four yrs, or if he sat out a yr with a redshirt, he still has four yrs to play football at any NCAA school, or schools, that offer scholarships to play a sport.

Go Bucks!

+3 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Thanks for answering my question Boy(no disrespect)!



Wesleyburgess1's picture

Ill tell you what is cool. If Lindsay starts and Billy Price slides over to left gaurd Billy could play a whole season right next to a seasoned veteran center. He could literally learn the position right next to Lindsay. The following year Billy could slide back over to center and he would feel comfortable making calls and just being there. It would be like Lindsay held his hand for a year.

+2 HS
Catch 5's picture

Yes.  It is my understanding that he must be on scholarship.  If a player graduates and transfers like this, he must remain on scholarship per NCAA rule.  I was wondering the same thing about Bama acquiring Coker from FSU - this is what I have been told so if anyone knows differently, please let me know.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

SilverState's picture

Alabama’s loss is Ohio State’s gain.



+9 HS
nrobinsonpe's picture

Okay, stats question: has any player ever won national titles at two different schools?

-1 HS
btalbert25's picture

If he becomes a player to do so, he's going to have a HUGE impact to getting this team there.  I said back in 2012 that 2014 was our year.  In order for it to be so, this line is going to have to put it all together quickly.  The schedule is no cake walk this year so there won't be Buffalo and FAMU and a horrible Cal team for these guys to learn the ropes to start the season.  I know the defense was horrible last year, but the most important aspect of this team's success is a strong line.  If nothing else, to keep Braxton on the field.  There's no Kenny G to back him up this year.  I could see this team vying for a national championship, or dropping a couple of games because the line couldn't protect Braxton or create running lanes for all these talented players to run wild. 

+3 HS
Mirror Lake Jump's picture

Shot in the dark here but, Cam Newton? Florida and Auburn

+4 HS
UrbanPirate's picture

Good call, just looked it up and you're right. 08 at Florida and whenever at Auburn. There aren't any other obvious ones that come to mind for me...

Just... Go Bucks.


BuckeyeDale's picture

I was looking for a bit more background.  I am glad to see Saban wanted to keep him.  Lindsay is originally from Texas, just north of Houston.  Saban's 2010 recruiting class. 

I was also a bit surprised looking a Bama's roster to find four Ohio boys playing down there in T-town...


+1 HS
703Buckeye's picture

Alabama has a population of only like 5-6 million and it has two major "BCS" teams. Alabama and Auburn have to recruit out of state big time, with much more need than a school like OSU. I'm not surprised to see a few Ohio boys down there.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

+1 HS
Homey1970's picture

And wouldn't it be a subtle win for Meyer to have a former Saban player out play (have a better year than) the Ohio kid, Kelly, all while slapping the shit out of Nussmeier and scUM? 

+1 HS
Whoa Nellie's picture

Mr. Lindsay is a terrific addition to the O-line, IMO.  Experience, intelligence and culture of winning.  Can't help but motivate his teammates when those "rings" come out.  Hope he gets another with a big O on it.

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

+7 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Lindsay brings instant experience, and from a high level.

I'm a fan of anyone with the last name Boren, and still think Billy Price has a good looking future in the trenches, but I'm glad Lindsey has come to Cbus.

+4 HS
CGroverL's picture

It reminds me of Bill Murray in Ghostbusters (which was on TV this morning) when talking of giving Jacoby Boren a redshirt. I'm a fan of anyone named Boren as well (along with the one lifetime Buckeye that everyone seems to blame everything on with the last name of Fickell). After Bill Murray has his first run in with a ghost and gets "slimed", he says "I feel so funky". I feel FUNKY by rolling out the red carpet for a Boren and then pulling it from beneath his feet. I hope there is an alternative, especially when his brother left TTUN to be part of the Buckeyes and seem to trust our program with their lives and well-being. I hope there is something we can do to suffice Boren as we owe it to him and his family.

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



+1 HS
WOLFofOHIO's picture

Plus he will be able to give alot of insight to other O-line man in alot of different ways..i think in a way, hes more important giving advice and giving insight on how to be a great O-lineman and also matching up and sparring with me him being on the field is a great ++++!

there is no greater joy than watching Michigan get slammed. in anything

+1 HS
ab1993's picture

He knew the only place out of those 5 that would have a chance at winning it all would be us :)

+1 HS
TossTrap's picture

Hoping the Buckeyes win the early tests because with just two more pieces (barring injury) by the last half of the season Warinner might have himself a very strong unit.

First and goal at the five and Arch is getting the ball.

+1 HS
hetuck's picture

On the oversigning front, I think this puts OSU at 83, meaning there has to be a departure by August. I'm sure the coaches already know & I won't speculate. And this brings Alabama to 89 including their QB transfer from FSU. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

DenBuck's picture

It will be interesting for Chad to compare and contrast Nicky Satan to Urbz after playing for both in 12 months.

Buckeye For Life

+4 HS
BroJim's picture

I don't know if the legitmate comparison we are all looking for will be made public.

I season my simple food with hunger

Horvath22's picture

OL looking good.

ScarletNGrey01's picture

An opportunity to contribute in a big way if he proves himself, maybe even have a chance at the next level if he really excels, an opportunity to earn a graduate degree at a top university and make contacts for life in one of the most economically vibrant cities in the Midwest, I think (and I'm not the LEAST bit biased of course LOL) he made a great decision.  Welcome to Buckeye Nation Chad!  Hope you are very successful on and off the field.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

BroJim's picture

O line needs some help, this is a great pickup!

I season my simple food with hunger

+1 HS
Osurrt's picture

The key is that he brings starting and playing experience to a very young line. Let's hope he steps up and not only starts, but serves as a role model and leader for the young guys.

D-Day0043's picture

I'm alright with Lindsay starting, but get Price and Boren on the field. I think Price could be a beast at left guard. What a luxury to have 3 starting caliber players at center! 

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

blackblockO's picture

The hardest part will be getting comfortable with the system and team. I'm thinking starter. When does the Summer semester start?


As good as he seems, I wonder if he is going to drop weight to play in our offensive system and how that will affect him.  Most pro-style offenses love having hogs, but Urban loves him some speed at all levels, so this will become quite a curious development to watch.  

I propose that they have an olympics for the starting spot at center.... name the events - my top 3:

1. 'Max Snaps' (see how many perfect snaps they can make between 5 yard full sprints)

2. 'Block the Chef' (see how quickly they can get on blocking Raekwon in 3 on 3 drills, and how long they can legally hold him)

3. 'Skunkweasel Smash' (get a log, paint a bullseye about 10 yards away using the skunkweasel colors, and see how accurately they can toss and hit the bullseye... this will be an important show of strength if/when the next fight breaks out between the schools and someone has to get ejected for throwing a skunkweasel from the fight about 10 yards away)

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
Go1Bucks's picture

Kyle, Birm or others: Any word on getting an interview with him? Love too hear his opinion on things across the board.

Go Bucks!