football Edit

Analyzing the impact as Ohio State lands transfer OL Josh Simmons

Ohio State has added former San Diego State offensive tackle Josh Simmons. (Courtesy of Josh Simmons).
Ohio State has added former San Diego State offensive tackle Josh Simmons. (Courtesy of Josh Simmons). (Courtesy of Josh Simmons)

COLUMBUS — Ohio State entered spring practice with questions about the offensive tackle position and left spring practice without many answers. So the Buckeyes are looking to the transfer portal for a potential solution.

Josh Simmons, who started 13 games at right tackle for San Diego State last year, announced his commitment to Ohio State on Sunday. Simmons comes to Columbus with three years of eligibility remaining. His visit over the weekend and time spent with offensive line coach Justin Frye helped seal the commitment for the Buckeyes.

"Me and Coach Frye had some sessions of going over me and my film and he was picking out every little detail as to what happened in that rep, and it was mind-blowing," Simmons told Dotting the Eyes.

He’s the seventh transfer addition for the Buckeyes this offseason, joining cornerbacks Lorenzo Styles Jr. and Davison Igbinosun, safety Ja’Had Carter, center Vic Cutler, quarterback Tristan Gebbia and long snapper John Ferlmann. This is the most active the program has been in terms of bringing in transfers under Ryan Day, but Day has always said that he’s not averse to looking there so long as the players coming in address a clear need and/or represent a clear upgrade.

In the case of Simmons, he certainly does the former. As for the latter? There’s some intriguing upside with the newest Buckeye.

Dotting The Eyes is taking a closer look at what the addition means.

What Simmons brings to OSU 


A connection that was first forged when Frye was recruiting Simmons, a southern California native, to UCLA is paying dividends for Frye’s new team now. There was something Frye liked in the former four-star prospect during the 2021 recruiting cycle, and now Frye gets to tap into that potential in Columbus.

"It was crazy, almost like we didn’t skip a beat," Simmons said. "He was back to tweaking my game and giving great coaching points."

What’s to like about Simmons? He’s 6-foot-6, 305 pounds with quick feet. There were certainly hiccups that showed up during his first year starting as a redshirt freshman last season, but you can also see the potential. The assumption is that Simmons will compete for the right tackle job at OSU, but he appears to have the length and movement skills to man the left side if asked to.

The Buckeyes didn't discuss exact roles with Simmons, only that he'd have a chance to come in and compete for a starting job.

One thing Simmons will have to clean up at his next stop is the frequency with which he commits penalties. He was flagged 16 times last year, which led his team. For context, Dawand Jones was Ohio State’s most penalized lineman last year with eight infractions. It’s not that Simmons is a sloppy player — eleven of his 16 penalties were false starts — but he’ll need to be more disciplined now that he’s expected to perform at a higher level against better competition.

Like most younger linemen, Simmons can also stand to improve his play strength on a snap-to-snap basis. However, from a raw materials standpoint, there’s a lot to work with. And it helps that he’s bringing a season’s worth of starts into Ohio State’s offensive line room.

What the move means for the Buckeyes 

Simmons announced his intent to transfer on Feb. 7, so Ohio State could have conceivably made this move a while ago if it wanted to. Instead, after missing on a couple of tackle targets in the first transfer window, the staff allowed some runway for third-year player Zen Michalski and second-year player Tegra Tshabola to compete for the right tackle job in the spring. The results were a mixed bag and the Buckeyes emerged from the spring without someone seizing the job.

Aside from that, this roster needed tackles who can play. Period. Even if there wasn't a job up for grabs, the numbers — and more importantly, the experience — are light at the position. Simmons addresses both, with a body of work that, while not overwhelmingly impressive, can still provide some more stability as Frye looks to find the right combination of five players for Ohio State to have the best offensive line possible.

It’s also worth noting that Tshabola started his career as a reserve guard last year, cracking the two-deep as a true freshman. Adding a tackle like Simmons with not only starting potential but also multiple years of eligibility remaining could allow Tshabola to more easily settle into what is perhaps a more natural position on the interior as he continues to develop.