COLUMBUS — Ohio State has a tight end in the 2020 recruiting class: Cincinnati Elder standout Joe Royer has committed to the Buckeyes.
Who is Royer and how did this tight end turn into such a high priority for the Buckeyes despite only earning an offer after a June camp performance?
Lettermen Row has all the angles on this rising prospect and what his commitment means to Ohio State, the Big Ten and more.
What Joe Royer gives Ohio State on the field
The Buckeyes needed a big-time tight end in the Class of 2020. Despite the fact that he wasn’t offered until early June, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Royer fits that bill.
He’s big and fast — running in the 4.65-range in the 40-yard dash. And he’s a versatile pass-catching threat down the field who earned his spot at Ohio State by showcasing his ability as a blocker during the one-day camp setting on June 6, which wound up leading to the scholarship offer.
Royer is 6-foot-5 and 225-pounds, so he possesses ideal, prototype size for a tight end and plays in one of the country’s toughest football conferences at traditional Cincinnati powerhouse Elder High School.
The Buckeyes wanted a tight end who could go up and get the ball in traffic, and one who can also control the line of scrimmage as a run blocking tight end. They don’t need to take two players at the position to achieve that because Royer can be both.
What Joe Royer means to Ohio State 2020 recruiting class
The 16th verbal commitment in the Ohio State recruiting class of 2020, Royer gives the Buckeyes their seventh commitment from Ohio in Ryan Day’s first cycle as head coach, underscoring his decision to crank up the focus on in-state recruiting.
The most important piece of Royer’s commitment is the flexibility it now provides Ohio State when it comes to recruiting a tight end. Originally, the plan was to try to add two different players at the position. But Royer’s growth and the way he impressed the Buckeyes has given the staff a chance to re-evaluate those needs and could open up a spot for another position in what’s likely to be a 25-man class.
Royer is the country’s third-ranked tight end according to 247Sports.com and the state of Ohio’s second-ranked player. But his composite rating — the average of the major recruiting networks — hasn’t caught up yet. It will.
What makes Joe Royer stand out
The first thing about Royer that is noticed is his frame and his natural athletic ability. His body isn’t close to being done filling out, but he’s not skinny or lacking in muscle. Coming from Elder, one of the country’s best programs, will have him better prepared for the rigors of college football than most players who were being considered by Ohio State at the tight end position alongside him.
Physically, Royer is far ahead of where other Buckeyes targets like Jalin Conyers and Cam Large are at the moment. And though he may lack the explosion of Conyers or the frame of Large, he’s a perfect blend of size, speed and serviceability to make an impact early in his Ohio State career.