Nov. 3, 2012
After being labeled an unproductive unit during the offseason, left tackle Jack Mewhort and his fellow offensive linemen have responded to the criticism and have worked to elevate the Ohio State offense to one of the most productive in the country.
“We used the criticism earlier this year as fuel and motivation to keep improving,” the redshirt junior from Toledo, Ohio, said.
As the only two returning starters on the offensive line, Mewhort and left guard Andrew Norwell have led the Buckeyes in fashioning an offensive line that has powered the running game and no-huddle offense of the Buckeyes.
“Our goal every game is to go out there and play as hard as we can for the guy next to us,” Mewhort said.
The efforts of the offensive line have enabled the Ohio State football team to average 431.8 yards of total offense so far this year. These efforts have not gone unnoticed. Following the Michigan State victory, the entire offensive line was named offensive player of the game. Mewhort was recognized individually after the win versus Indiana as a “champion” by the Ohio State coaching staff for his outstanding performance.
“Despite how much we have been a rushing force, there’s still more we can do,” the 2011 All-Big Ten honorable said. “We’ve left a lot of yards on the field in the past few games.”
In 2011, Mewhort started all 13 games as a sophomore. Beginning the year at left guard, he switched to right tackle before closing out the season at right guard. Even though Mewhort has bounced around from position to position on the offensive line, he has been embracing his new role this season as left tackle, a position formerly held by 2012 second-round NFL Draft pick Mike Adams. Mewhort has not played this position since his sophomore year in high school at St. John’s Jesuit High School and Academy in Toledo, Ohio.
“I’ve definitely embraced left tackle,” the family resource management major said. “It’s been fun playing on the edge. Coach Warinner and my teammates make it easy for me to improve and keep getting better at each practice. I want to be better.”
Mewhort credits much of the success of the offensive line to the bonds that have formed with each other.
“Our team unity definitely gives us an emotional edge over our opponents,” Mewhort said. “When you really love the guy standing next you, it makes you play a lot harder. You know you can’t let that guy down.”
While other units on the squad have been given nicknames, such as the defensive “silver bullets” and the “freak show” special teams, the offensive line has developed a persona reflective of their band of brothers mentality.
“I’ve heard Coach Meyer and Coach Marotti calls us the ‘Five Guys,’” Mewhort said.
These five guys have created a close-knit family that has played an instrumental role in the offensive success of the Buckeyes.
“We haven’t gotten complacent,” Mewhort said. “We come out to practice every day and try to improve. We are a family and we trust each other. That is a big factor in our success. We’re going to keep grinding and keeping working to become the best that we can be.”
By: Chelsea Zoellner, Athletics Communications
Buckeyes in the NFL - Divisional Round