College football: Findlay graduate Montgomery has made good impression at Ohio State

INDIANAPOLIS – Ohio State football coach Ryan Day wouldn’t even drop a hint about who might be the favorite between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown to be the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback this season when he was quizzed about that subject at Big Ten Football Media Days on Wednesday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

But when the subject of the other biggest area of uncertainty for OSU this season, its offensive line, came up, Day talked a little more freely.

And one of the names he mentioned was very interesting, especially to northwest Ohio fans.

Freshman Luke Montgomery, of Findlay, who enrolled at OSU in January, apparently has impressed Day.

“I’m excited about some of our options there. Luke Montgomery has been in the mix. He had a really good summer,” Day said about the 6-4, 280-pound freshman. “I’ve been very impressed with him.

“He’s in the competition right now. I told him the other day ‘I know you’re a true freshman but you came here to play. That should be your mentality. Whether you play in the first game or not, I don’t know. Maybe you don’t play this year.’ Maybe it’s in the third or fourth game, I don’t know. But I see things in him, we see things in him that are very encouraging,” he said.

Guards Donovan Jackson and Matt Jones are OSU’s only returning starters on the offensive line. Right tackle is the most uncertain of the three positions where last year’s starters need to be replaced.

On the quarterback question Day said, “We obviously would like for someone to emerge quickly but we’ll kind of have to see once we get on the field.”

He also said the competition at that position could carry over into the season, which begins Sept. 2 at Indiana.

“In the last seven years, we’ve been in this situation quite a few times at Ohio State, not knowing who would be the quarterback,” Day said. “You had a new one with Dwayne (Haskins), a new one with Justin (Fields) and a new one with C.J. (Stroud), and here we are again. When you go into these situations, you would like to see someone emerge in camp like it did with C.J., Justin and Dwayne. But if that doesn’t happen, then maybe that is the case. We will have to evaluate it from there.”

Looking ahead to next season when the Big Ten will eliminate its divisions and match its two best teams in the conference championship, Day suggested there needs to be more discussion about whether the Ohio State-Michigan game should remain in its traditional spot on the last Saturday of the regular season.

“I think we should consider where (on the schedule) we play just because you could end up playing them back to back, which would be awkward. I know we need to consider the tradition but I think we need to consider when,” Day said.

“I think it’s worth a long discussion where that game should be placed. If it was like it was last year we would have been playing back to back games and who knows maybe be playing again in the playoff. I think it’s worth consideration, not that it should be moved but we should be talking about it.

“Could it minimize The Game? That’s my concern,” Day said. “If you play it in Week 11 or Week 10, no matter what it’s going to matter. But if you know you’re playing them in the Big Ten championship game already, it could be something that we haven’t experienced before.

“I know that they’re talking about it. I don’t think any hard decisions have been made; I don’t think they’re going to be made here real soon. I just want to be part of those conversations,” he said.

Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.

Jim Naveau has covered local and high school sports for The Lima News since 1978 and Ohio State football since 1992. His OSU coverage appears in more than 30 newspapers. Naveau, a Miami University graduate, also worked at the Greenville Advocate and the Piqua Daily Call. He has seen every boys state basketball tournament since 1977. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0414.