April 9, 2013

Name: Corey Linsley
Class: Senior
Hometown: Youngstown, Ohio
High School: Boardman
Position: Center

2012 Recap: In his first year as a starter, Linsley helped solidify the offensive line by starting all 12 games at center and helping the Buckeyes post a Big Ten-best 37.2 points per game while ranking second in rushing with an average of 242.2 yards per game on the ground.

2013 Outlook: With a full year of starting experience under the new offensive system, Linsley will be one of four key senior returners to the Buckeyes’ offensive line in 2013.

Q: Looking back at 2012, how did you feel about jumping into the starting center position?
A: It was awesome. It was a big transition. Coach Meyer, Coach Warinner and Coach (Marotti) all played a huge role in that as well as developing me as a man and person and it was just an awesome experience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Q: Do you have any personal goals for next season?
A: I just want to help this team in every way possible that I can; whether that’s by being all-conference or whether that’s just being a leader on this team. Whatever it is I need to do. I just want to answer the call every time.

Q: The offensive line helped the offense rack up nearly 3,000 yards on the ground last season. As a group, have you set any goals to go beyond that next year?
A: We want to be better than we were last year. Obviously, we want to lead the nation in everything and that’s our dream. But the big thing that we want is just to do better than last year.

Q: What are you doing differently this spring in order to prepare for the fall?
A: This spring is a lot less hectic. We’re not learning the offense anymore. We already have it installed for the older guys at least. It’s a lot more of critiquing our offense instead of learning it so it’s different from that aspect. Other than that, it’s just as hard, just as physical. Everything’s the same. It’s just a little bit more technical.

Q: There are four senior starters returning to the offensive line. What kind of impact do you think that will have?
A: Experience is the biggest teacher. Not only will it help us just because we know the offense, we’ve been in situations, almost every situation possible last year, but it will help the younger guys too because we know how to teach the offense since we had to learn it last year. And through our experience, we can develop the younger guys as well.

Q: Do you feel like you’ve become a leader or role model for any of the younger players?
A: Absolutely. You’re always a leader. If you’re a starter, you’re the leader at your position. I’m the starting center so I’m a leader at center. The center usually takes upon being the leader of the offensive line as well. It’s awesome to be one of those individuals. The other three guys that are returning next year are leaders as well. It’s an awesome group to be a part of.

Q: What is your biggest strength as the center or the cornerstone of the offensive line?
A: My biggest strength is my knowledge of the game that I’ve developed over the years. Football, once I learned the foundation of it, has been really easy for me to pick up. I think the guys really appreciate that. I’m able to sit back and look at what’s happening and dissect what’s going on so I think that’s my biggest strength.

Q: How has Coach Warinner prepared you for that role specifically?
A: He has put pressure on me every day to become better. I, by far, have the most pressure of anybody in the room. That’s what it’s like on the field, too. You have to snap the ball every play; eyes are on you. If you screw up, everybody’s blaming you. If the snap goes over the guy’s head, there’s nobody else to blame. He does a great job of keeping pressure on me so I can perform under pressure in the real game.

Q: What are you excited for most about the spring game?
A: It’s in Cincinnati, that’s pretty cool. Some of us will never have the chance to play in the NFL and even those of us who think we will may have a freak injury or something and not be able to play at that level so it’s awesome to just be able to play in an NFL stadium.

— Kaitlin Watterson, Ohio State Athletics Communications student assistant

Previous Spring Spotlights:

Curtis Grant (March 8)

Carlos Hyde (March 21)

Kenny Guiton (April 3)