Ohio State OL coach enjoying recruiting Buckeye State

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Combined ShapeCaption
Ohio State OL coach Justin Frye shares recruiting message

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

COLUMBUS -- In the offseason, Justin Frye was hired to coach Ohio State’s current offensive linemen and find the next generation to replace them when their careers are over.

His predecessor, Greg Studrawa, was better at the former than the latter.

After getting started on the first task in March and April, Frye has jumped into the second with two feet in May and June.

Early returns are positive with verbal commitments from Findlay’s Luke Montgomery and Lakota East’s Austin Siereveld.

They join Wayne’s Joshua Padilla, who committed last fall while Studrawa was still on the staff, to give the Buckeyes dibs on the three top-rated offensive linemen in Ohio per 247Sports Composite rankings for the class of 2023.

Of course that does not mean Frye is done adding talent to this class, nor working on future classes.

“It never stops,” Frye said of recruiting. “You’re looking at guys that are in this class with 2023 to finish that. You’re looking at guys in 2024. You’re evaluating 2025. You’re trying to get kids to camp, and you’re trying to go out and see kids again.”

That last item is particularly important with the offensive line, a position group that not only requires projecting how a 16- or 17-year-old will grow and develop in his early 20s but also monitor how much their bodies change from year to year in high school. Or even season to season.

“The biggest thing about linemen is you can see a kid in the fall that maybe he was 240 and now you go back and see him in the spring and he’s 280,” Frye said. “That’s natural maturation. So all of a sudden that guy becomes a guy, he gets on the radar, so you can never stop recruiting.”

Frye also noted the importance of such due diligence the closer one is to his new home base in the Buckeye State.

“Covering Ohio, I’m going to hit every school in my area in Ohio these last couple of weeks (in May),” he said. “That’s important for us and (head coach Ryan) Day to do that. I mean, you’ve got to recruit your area, and then you got to work from the inside out.”

In-state recruiting has been on the decline overall for Ohio State over the past decade, and the offensive line is no exception.

Since 2017, Ohio State has signed 23 offensive linemen with the majority (14) coming from out of state.

Over the same period, 20 players were ranked among the top 20 prospects in the state in their respective class, and Ohio State signed seven.

Not all of those who went elsewhere had Ohio State offers, but they did end up at a school in a Power 5 conference.

Recruiting any position is an inexact science, but the more information a coach can gather, the more equipped he is to make the right decision — especially with players who have the most growing into their position to do.

There’s also the simple matter of maintaining relationships.

“I went to a handful of schools in my area where the coach was like, ‘Coach, this is great. Thanks for coming out. We don’t have anybody at your caliber, but we appreciate you coming by,’” Frye said. “I think you have to continue to do that no matter where you’re at in your home state so if there are years that pop up where you have multiple Ohio State-caliber players there, then that’s not the first time in three years you’ve seen those guys.

“If it’s fortunate enough where we don’t have to get on planes, trains and automobiles to get those guys, that’s great. If it’s a year where we can’t, we’re going to get the best players to play here.”

About the Author