FootballScoop is proud to announce that Ed Warinner (Ohio State) is the 2012 FootballScoop Offensive Line Coach of the Year presented by ProGrass.
There are only a handful of places that most coaches would consider leaving Notre Dame for and, for Ed Warinner, Ohio State was on that short list. Warinner joined Urban Meyer's staff at Ohio State back in January and made an impact the day he stepped on campus.
Coming into this season, many college football prognosticators tabbed Ohio State's offensive line as one of the team's weaknesses as they came off a 6-7 year in 2011. Once offensive line coach Ed Warinner got an opportunity to mold the group, he proved that notion to be not only premature, but flat out incorrect.
Truth be told, the offensive line turned out to be one of the major strengths of the Buckeyes this season. After the unit shed a total of 133 pounds, Warinner took a determined and focused offensive line group and molded them into one of the best units in the country.
Urban Meyer, speaking before the Michigan game said, "My vision of a line coach is the toughest guy on your staff, and we've got a very tough coach. They've got to be pushed and the good thing is they are responding. The line is our identity. It is our most productive group."
The Buckeyes finished the season in the tenth nationally in rushing yards per game (242), which was a jump of nearly 50 yards from what they averaged last season. With talents like Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde handling the majority of the carries (both of whom finished in the top 33 rushers nationally), the Buckeyes made holes big enough for them to average 5.2 yards per carry (19th nationally). With one less game on their schedule, the Buckeyes still carried the ball for 422 more yards than they had the previous season (2,907 - 14th nationally).
In nine of their 12 games this season, Warinner's group paved the way for over 200 rushing yards, eclipsing the 300 net yards rushing mark in three of those outings. That was a huge improvement compared to last season where they went over the 300 mark just once. Equally as impressive and important is the fact that in four of their games this year they posted no more than 20 yards lost during the course of the game.
Their success on first, second and third down often got them into a manageable fourth down situation where offensive coordinator Tom Herman felt more than capable with Warinner's crew up front. Ohio State ranked third nationally in fourth down conversions with a success rate of nearly 78 percent (7-of-9 on the year).
With only one senior starter (the rest being juniors), the Buckeyes ranked fourth in country in explosive plays of over 10 yards among teams that played a maximum of 12 games. Their 37 rushing touchdowns on the season not only ties for the lead in the Big Ten, but is also the highest rushing touchdown total that an Ohio State team has compiled in at least 30 years.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Warinner, Mike Bloomgren - Stanford, Nick Tabacca - Ball State and Joe Wickline - Oklahoma State) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Warinner will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Offensive Line Coach of the Year award are Steve Greatwood (Oregon, 2008), Tony Wise (Pittsburgh, 2009), Bob Bostad (Wisconsin, 2010) and Greg Studrawa (LSU, 2011).
10th Nationally - Rushing Offense
19th Nationally - Yards Per Carry
17th Nationally - Red Zone Offense
8th Nationally - Rushing Touchdowns
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