2024 Big Ten IOL Rankings: Ohio State’s Donovan Jackson Is Not No. 1

    Interior offensive linemen are often left unnamed -- unless they whiff a block or are blown into the QB -- but the 2024 Big Ten IOL Rankings highlight the best.

    Offensive tackles are all the rage, but the big guys on the interior deserve love as well. From Donovan Jackson to Matthew Bedford, the 2024 Big Ten iOL Rankings are jam-packed with talented bulldozers who need your attention.

    Big Ten 2024 IOL Rankings

    10) Matthew Bedford, G, Oregon Ducks

    Five years at Indiana was enough for Matthew Bedford, who is taking his talents to Eugene. He has been on the NFL Draft radar since 2022, and his versatility (he has played significant snaps at every OL position but center) should keep Bedford in the conversation in the 2025 class.

    A standout season in the Ducks’ high-powered offense will only improve Bedford’s chances of being selected.

    9) Spencer Holstege, G, UCLA Bruins

    Spencer Holstege parlayed three years at Purdue into a spot on UCLA’s roster. The career LG is at his best in pass pro, but he showed development as a run blocker last season.

    Although Chip Kelly is gone, Eric Bieniemy knows how to put his players in a position to succeed, which should be easy with Holstege.

    8) Josh Fryar, G, Ohio State Buckeyes

    Josh Fryar’s three-year stint as a reserve lineman came to an end in 2023 when he earned the starting RT nod. He got off to a hot start but cooled off midseason.

    A move inside should help Fryar rebound to his early-season form, and his run-blocking prowess will translate well on the interior.

    7) Micah Mazzccua, G, Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Micah Mazzcua has one year of eligibility remaining, and he’ll spend it with his former Baylor head coach at Nebraska. Matt Rhule and Co. recruited the 6’5″, 325-pounder to the Bears and will now reunite after Mazzcua spent a year at Florida.

    The Cornhuskers needed iOL reinforcements with their top two guards from last year (Nouredin Nouili, graduation; Ethan Piper, three torn knee ligaments at the end of the season) out of the lineup. Mazzccua has started 21 games in his career, both at LG and RG. While he is a mauler in the ground game, he is also no slouch in pass protection.

    6) Joe Huber, G, Wisconsin Badgers

    To no one’s surprise, there is a Wisconsin lineman on the board! Joe Huber started at right tackle under Luke Fickell at Cincinnati but followed his head coach to Madison and started at left guard.

    Understandably, Huber wasn’t quite as dominant as a run blocker, but he stood pat as a pass protector, rarely allowing pass rushers to touch his QB.

    5) Seth McLaughlin, C, Ohio State Buckeyes

    Seth McLaughlin came down to Earth last season after an impressive 2022 campaign and decided a change of scenery was needed, finding his way to the Buckeyes. His skill set fits Chip Kelly’s zone-rushing scheme, and he’s out to prove his snapping issues from last year are a thing of the past.

    4) Gus Hartwig, C, Purdue Boilermakers

    Injuries have plagued him at times, but Gus Hartwig has been Purdue’s starting center for the last three years and returns for a fourth go-round.

    A finalist for the Campbell Award, nicknamed the “Academic Heisman,” and a Wuerffel Trophy nominee, awarded to the player who “best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement,” Hartwig obviously checks the off-field boxes.

    However, on the field, Hartwig is a veteran with the awareness, IQ, functional strength and athleticism to win as a pass and run blocker.

    3) Luke Newman, G, Michigan State Spartans

    Following three years as Holy Cross’ star blindside protector, the Spartans are kicking Luke Newman inside for 2024.

    The move will make Newman’s FCS-to-FBS transition more palatable, but he has the footwork and experience to operate at OT in a pinch or if MSU’s slated starters falter.

    Newman varies his sets and works to keep his hands inside his opponent’s frame, stalling out rush attempts.

    2) Donovan Jackson, G, Ohio State Buckeyes

    Despite earning first-team All-Big Ten honors, Donovan Jackson forged the NFL Draft and returned to Columbus.

    At 6’4″, 320 pounds, with rumored 36″ arms, Jackson has all the physical tools OL coaches dream of, even if down-to-down consistency still eludes him. If Jackson puts all the pieces together in 2024, he could hear his name called as early as Round 1 next April.

    1) Tyler Cooper, G, Minnesota Golden Gophers

    After back-to-back 9-4 campaigns, the Golden Gophers stumbled to a 6-7 record in 2023, but don’t blame Tyler Cooper. He started the first two games at left guard, then had to bounce with LG and RG the rest of the year.

    On paper, the move should be easy, but flipping sides — midgame, no less — takes concentration and adaptability that not all players have.

    Not only did Cooper switch with ease, but he rarely concedes pressure and was more than serviceable in the ground game. Sticking at one spot in 2024 only benefits his outlook.

    2024 Big Ten IOL Rankings | 11-20

    11) Olaivavega Ioane, G, Penn State
    12) Kevin Wigenton II, G, Illinois
    13) Iapani Laloulu, C, Oregon
    14) Emmanuel Pregnon, G, USC
    15) Josh Carlin, G, UCLA
    16) Connor Colby, G, Iowa
    17) Mike Katic, C, Indiana
    18) Marcus Harper II, G, Oregon
    19) Nick Kidwell, G, Indiana
    20) Tanner Miller, C, Michigan State

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