COLUMBUS — Luke Wypler had a dream school growing up, but it wasn’t Ohio State.
A four-star center and one of the original building blocks of the Buckeyes 2020 recruiting class, Wypler had dreams of playing where his high school coach starred on the offensive line and where Ryan Day once coached the offense.
Wypler wanted to play at Boston College.
But as the recruiting process heated up for one of the country’s top interior offensive linemen, Boston College showed little interest after offering him. Ohio State, meanwhile, knew what Wypler could do. So the Buckeyes pursued him harder — and that made a difference.
“Boston College offered me, but never recruited me too hard, didn’t show too much interest,” Wypler said. “At the same time, Ohio State was showing me a great deal of interest.”
So Wypler chose the Buckeyes early in the process. And once he saw Ohio Stadium filled with fans last season when he visited, he knew his dream school was no longer the place he dreamed of playing for. He fell in love with Ohio State.
“It was unreal,” he said. “I remember the stands not quite yet filled yet when everyone was warming up, look around and there’s a lot of empty seats. I was thinking that maybe the hype for 100,000 people isn’t that real. … Then you go back in the locker room, hear the pregame speech, and then I remember coming back down the tunnel right before the game started, and the stadium was beyond packed. There were people standing in the aisles.
“I was mind-blown.”
Now signed and already finished with his first semester, Wypler is excited to be a part of the Ohio State program. He loves the football. He loves the culture. And he’s a smart guy who was drawn to the Fisher College of Business on campus in Columbus.
When he committed in July 2018, he was locked in. And although the Buckeyes went through a scandal, a head-coaching change and more, Wypler stayed in the class and never second-guessed his commitment. Now that he’s on campus and on board, he’s ready to work.
“Luke is another guy who was bought in from the beginning,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said in December. “He never wavered at all. I think he’s got a chance to be a great interior lineman. You talk about somebody who really takes a lot of pride in the way he goes about his business, he’s going to come in here, going to be detailed, he’s going to work hard.
“He comes from a great program, and I think he has got a great ceiling.”
Wypler was listed as the No. 2 center in the country coming out of high school, but his versatility along the offensive line is what makes him such a weapon for the Buckeyes. He played tackle and guard before an injury on his high school line forced him into a center role, which he picked up with ease. It certainly worked out in his favor.
Is he a guard or a center in college? Well, the Buckeyes have a track record of starting interior linemen at guard and shifting them to center before sending them off to a starting role in the NFL. So it might not matter where Wypler begins his Ohio State career.
He’ll have a chance to learn behind future pros at guard: Wyatt Davis and Harry Miller. He has a future NFL star at center to learn from in Josh Myers. No matter where he starts, he’ll have plenty of influence regardless of his position.
Luke Wypler also doesn’t care where he plays. He’ll line up wherever he can help his new dream school win.
“Whatever they need me to play, if they need me to kick return, punt, play quarterback — whatever they need me to do,” Wypler said after arriving as an early enrollee. “Wherever they put me, whatever they want to do with me, I’m going to give it 110-percent.
“Everybody in this building is focused on winning.”