COLUMBUS — For much of the 2020 recruiting cycle since Ryan Day took over Ohio State, the goal has been clear: Restock the offensive line.
Day helped the Buckeyes land Enokk Vimahi, Dawand Jones and Rutgers graduate transfer Jonah Jackon first. Then he turned his attention fully to the Class of 2020. So far, the Ohio State efforts have been fruitful, landing five offensive linemen to this point in the cycle — including three instate players, a major priority for Day and his staff.
But the work isn’t done yet, and the Buckeyes would love to add one more offensive lineman. But they’ll only do it if it’s the right guy.
What is Ohio State looking for in a sixth offensive lineman?
So who is the right guy for the Ohio State recruiting class?
Because the Buckeyes have turned away interior line prospects in the last month, it can be reasonably discerned that they are looking for someone capable of playing tackle in Columbus. Whether or that means exclusively at tackle or if it means someone versatile enough to play multiple spots, that doesn’t matter.
What matters is that they want another tackle body on the roster. If it was just about adding another lineman, the search would be over by now. There have been good players ready to pull the trigger for the Buckeyes who have been told they no longer had a spot available.
The Buckeyes want big, versatile athletes who have tackle bodies, which is why a player like Notre Dame commitment Michael Carmody was absolutely the top remaining target on the board before he opted to commit to the Fighting Irish.
So, who is still on the board for Ohio State?
This is where things get interesting. Right now, if Beech Grove (Ind.) offensive lineman Josh Fryar ends up committing elsewhere, then the Buckeyes are likely to enter fall camp without a sixth lineman — and with a need to crank up the evaluation machine during what will be a pivotal senior season for a number of recruits hoping to gain a look from Ohio State.
Fryar took his official visit to Ohio State last weekend and connected well with a number of players and recruits. But his decision ultimately could come down to staying home at Indiana or playing in the big pond of Ohio State.
Beyond Fryar, there are a bunch of vacant, waiting-to-be-filled and evaluated holes in the board for Greg Studrawa and the Buckeyes.
What happens if Josh Fryar doesn’t pick the Buckeyes?
If Fryar picks Indiana or Penn State, then it will get very interesting for Ohio State moving forward.
First, the Buckeyes are simply not going to take a player just to take one. There will be some discussion about whether or not to stand pat with five offensive linemen or if they should absolutely pursue a sixth at that point. And if they decide to pursue a sixth, it will only be a player that they think is an eventual contributor to the Ohio State program.
That means players inside of Ohio, especially a big, talented kid like Elyria Catholic’s Branson Taylor, should get a long look. The same can be said for Milford Center 3-star tackle and Iowa State commit Sam Rengert or Northwestern commitment Ben Wrather from Olentangy Liberty.
Again, the Buckeyes aren’t going to reach for a player just to land one. The 5-man class of 2020 that includes Paris Johnson, Luke Wypler, Grant Toutant, Jakob James and Trey Leroux, combined with the guys already on campus, means it won’t be a necessity.