COLUMBUS — If there is a mold of the prototype Ohio State linebacker from when that unit has been at its best, Tommy Eichenberg might slide right into it.
He’s tough. He’s an Ohio kid. He’s not afraid to deliver some punishment from his spot in the middle of the defense.
Really, Eichenberg was perfect for the Buckeyes, which made the four-star’s late flip from Boston College and the head-to-head recruiting win over Michigan so critical for the program ahead of his official signing on Wednesday.
“We’ve always known his talents as a football player and as a student, but his development as a leader has been very pleasing to me and good to see,” St. Ignatius linebacker coach Ryan Franzinger said. “He has a solid group of guys in his class who have taken leadership very seriously. Those are the types of student-athletes we want here.
“We don’t just want guys who make a bunch of tackles or throw the shot put far. We want solid people, and those are typically the ones who do very well. We try not to compartmentalize, we try to educate the whole person, so it’s nice to see.”
That approach, of course, is the same one Ohio State has used so successfully on the recruiting trail — and will always be a priority moving forward under Ryan Day as well.
Eichenberg checked all the boxes on and off the field, which will make him a critical part of the plan to improve a defense that fell well off from the program’s high standard last season. It might take some time before he’s cracking the rotation as a starter, but Ohio State landed a guy it clearly expects to find that role down the line.
Another guy who played in that role in the past was back in the Lettermen Row film lab to look at what Eichenberg brings to the table. Zach Boren put on the highlight reel and broke down what he saw physically from the new signee in his latest BuckIQ, continuing the look at Ohio State’s newest additions.
Roll the tape!
Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward contributed the editorial content for this post.