If you think about it at the surface level, it probably isn’t much. However, Ohio State’s new offensive line coach Justin Fry likened the two in some way when he met with reporters on Friday.
“Recruitment is like brushing your teeth, you have to get up and do it every day,” Frey said.
Since his assignment to Ohio in January, Frye has been heavily involved in the Buckeyes’ recruiting efforts, earning two offensive line commitments in his first few months on the job: Ohio four-star attacker Luke Montgomery and four-star Ohio interior worker Austin Sierfield. Pair these two with four-star inside lineman Joshua Padilla, who committed last fall when Frye’s predecessor Greg Stedraua was coaching OSU’s offensive linemen, and the Buckeyes earned the state’s top three attacking spots based on the 247Sports rankings.
Frye made a positive impression on all three of OSU’s commitments, most notably Siereveld, who just committed to the Buckeyes on Wednesday.
“He was the only coach who told me he wanted to train me,” Seerfeld told reporters on Wednesday. “It means to me that he really wants to coach me and teach me all about the game.”
Recruiting high caliber in-state players has been a priority for Ohio State since Ryan Day took charge of the Buckeyes. Since the spring assessment period began in early April, Frye has primarily focused on visiting public schools and building relationships with middle schools, even if there isn’t necessarily an athlete in the current course capable of playing in Ohio.
“You have to constantly look at these guys,” Fry said. “You know, while covering Ohio, I’ll be visiting every school in my Ohio district for the past two weeks (before the spring assessment period ends at the end of May). This is important for us and Coach Day to do that. I mean, you have to recruit your district and who And then you have to work from the inside out. It’s kind of the way we’ve done it here.
“We get all the schools and make sure we get somewhere. I went to a few schools in my area where the coach was like, ‘Coach, that’s cool.'” Thanks for coming out. We don’t have anyone at your level but we appreciate your coming. I think you should keep doing this no matter where you are in your original state. So, if there’s been a pop-up where you’ve had many players of Ohio caliber out there, it’s not the first time in three years that you’ve seen these guys.”
While recruiting locally is a priority, Ohio State University is still looking for high caliber offensive linemen in the state, and won’t hesitate to go after outstanding talent outside of the state as well.
“If it’s fortunate that we don’t have to take planes, trains, and cars to get these guys, that’s great,” Fry said. “If it’s a year where we can’t (stay local), we’ll get the best players to play here.”
But so far, very good in terms of recruiting high caliber local talent for Frye. With the couple’s enlistment victories under his belt, Frye joked that perhaps only once, he and OSU could take a day or two down the enlistment path.
Frey told reporters after being asked about the state’s three commitments, even though NCAA rules prevent him from commenting on specific players until they sign their LOIs.
But in reality, despite the momentum the program may or may not have, Frey said there are no hiring days off. If the Buckeyes are not working on offensive navigators in the current cycle, they are evaluating the outlook for the 2024 or 2025 classes.
“Never stop,” Fry said. “You look at the guys in this class with 2023 to finish that, and you look at the guys in 2024, you take stock of 2025, you try to push the kids into camp, you try to get out and we see the kids again. The most important thing about the linen workers is that you can see A kid in the fall that was probably 240 and now you come back and you see him in the spring and he’s 280. That’s a natural maturity. So all of a sudden, this guy’s a guy, he’s on the radar, so you can never stop recruiting.”
After spending a few days in Columbus, Frye said he’ll be back for enlistment this week. And while Padilla, Montgomery and Saerfield could ultimately be influential league-level players, OSU’s offensive recruiting streak for the current tournament is far from over. The Buckeyes need one or two more prospects for a real offensive tackle, which will be Frye’s #1 priority for the next couple of months.
Olos Allenen scheduled an official visit to Ohio in late June, and Ian Reed recently visited Columbus for the spring game, but the other high-priority targets Chase Bissontes and Shamson Okunlula did not visit this spring and did not schedule official visits. Four-star Monroe Freeling recently put Ohio State on his top seven list, but the prospective South Carolina prospect hasn’t visited Columbus either and hasn’t set a date for an official visit yet.
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Frye couldn’t tell the media what prospects he would be visiting over the next few weeks. But he already knows what his message to any player in the recruiting path will be.
“I mean, you just have to tell these guys how you’re going to develop them,” Fry said. “Tell them about this place. I mean, you really don’t sell kids in employment. You give them that information, if you are a kid of high caliber who wants to play at the highest level, compete for national and conference championships, this is the place.
“And then, how do we get you there based on how we feed them, how do we train them and how do we train them. So you kind of try to fill it in with all the different information they can get so they feel good about it. And then along the way, you build a really good relationship with them and you find out what they like, what they hate, what buttons to push with a child, what drives them, and those kinds of things.”