If you want to have a successful offense in college football, it starts up front. Over the last couple of years, Urban Meyer and the Ohio State coaching staff have searched high and low for talented offensive linemen to bring into the the fold.
After landing commitments from class of 2015 linemen Grant Schmidt, Kevin Feder, and Matthew Burrell, the Buckeyes have now added former Utah commit Branden Bowen to the Elite '15. Bowen, who stands 6'7, and well over 300 pounds, adds his name to a long list of prospects that have changed their commitment around to suit up for the Bucks since Urban Meyer took over the program.
Like many of the current class of 2015 commits, Bowen, a three-star prospect, might not have received 30 scholarship offers playing for Canyon Corner High School in Draper, Utah. But that doesn't mean he can't end up being a future All-Conference type of player for the Buckeyes after working with offensive line guru Ed Warinner over the next few years.
A very athletic lineman for this size, Bowen brings a solid combination of speed, and toughness to the tackle position. A player who doesn't quit until he hears the whistle, he is definitely the type of athlete that Meyer and crew search for while looking for future Buckeyes.
Land-Grant Holy Land football writer Christopher Jason had the following to say on the newest Buckeye:
Branden Bowen has excellent size already in high school, standing at 6'7, 330 pounds. He is a bully on the football field and plays with aggression through the whistle. Other than just his size, his play stands out on tape, constantly throwing down defenders and driving them into the ground.
Bowen comes off the ball quick and uses his long arms to punch defenders. He keeps defenders away from his body and just does a great job in pass protection and paving a way for the ball carrier in the run game.
Overall, Bowen is not your typical three-star offensive lineman. He is an extremely physical player who sets the tone in the trenches. Bowen has the size, talent, and mindset to play earlier than expected but he may have to redshirt due to the young depth at his position. Bowen will be a future starter at tackle for the Buckeyes.
Like Christopher said, Bowen displays talent that could help him see the field very early on in his career at OSU. In numerous interviews with Land-Grant Holy Land, he stated he plans to graduate in January, and would like to be an early enrollee. If that is something that happens, it could help him find his name in the three deep as a freshman, a la Marcelys Jones. If not, look for Bowen to redshirt, which would give him even more time to be in the mix for playing time in 2016.
With Bowen's commitment the Buckeyes are up to 22 verbal commitments, and are now the fourth team in the 247Sports Team Composite Recruiting Rankings.