Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer (with a big assist to offensive line coach Ed Warinner in this case) has done it again, flipping another commitment Ohio State's way. This time, the Buckeyes added their 10th recruit to the class of 2015 in offensive tackle Kevin Feder. The lineman committed to Miami back in mid-January, but has now switched his verbal pledge to the Buckeyes.
Perhaps Feder's biggest attribute is his sheer size, as he checks in at 6'9 (nearly 6'10) and weighs 305 pounds. What's more impressive is that he's projected to grow to potentially seven feet tall. He's also been clocked at a 5.20 in the 40-yard dash, which isn't blazing, but is said to move well, particularly for someone of his size
Surprisingly, Feder hasn't played offensive tackle at the high school level yet, which may be a large reason why he hadn't received as many high-level offers as one would expect. Another factor could have been the fact that Feder missed quite a bit of his junior season with spiral fracture to his tibia and was only back for the final four games of his school's season and played on the defensive line, rather than the offensive line.
Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) June 22, 2014
While Feder still has to hone his skills, the coaching staff (along with Rivals' chief recruiting analyst) clearly sees a high ceiling with his potential as an offensive tackle. The good news is that the staff doesn't need Feder to come in and start right away. The Buckeyes have a junior class that consists of Taylor Decker, who is currently a starter, as well as potential starters in Chase Farris and Jacoby Boren (but he could end up at center), as well as Tommy Brown.
In addition to the juniors, there are sophomores Pat Elflein, Kyle Dodson, Evan Lisle and Billy Price on the line. Coming into the program next season will be Demetrius Knox, Marcelys Jones, Jamarco Jones, Brady Taylor, and Kyle Trout. There will be plenty of competition among the linemen, but with Feder's size, if he can quickly learn the nuances of offensive line play, there's a good chance he'll have a decent shot to start at some point (particularly under the physical development of Buckeyes strength and conditioning coach, Mickey 'Mick' Marotti). The only other offensive lineman in the class of 2015 is tackle Grant Schmidt (who could also end up a guard), it's likely the Buckeyes will probably target at least one or two more linemen.
Feder also didn't just play football. The mountain of a man wrestled at heavyweight, which only helps his footwork and balance as an offensive lineman. Coaches love multi-sport athletes and wrestling is one of the best sports an offensive or defensive lineman could choose. Even when on the defensive line last season, Feder was able to make an impact, helping his team stop the run (something the team had struggled with all season):
Very few high school offensive linemen can move him one on one, and his presence has freed up the Bosco linebackers to shoot gaps and make plays. It's also helped with the pass rush as Jimmy Schulz, Zach Chakonis and Kyle Kleinberg don't get double-teamed.
Feder also spoke with Rivals' Marc Givler about the Buckeyes:
"Ohio State has always been a childhood favorite," he said. "It's always been one of my favorite schools that I wanted to go to. To get the offer from them, it was just really unreal. It was really a no brainer for me to decide to go there."
'15 interior lineman and Ohio State target Matthew Burrell gave his reaction as well to the news:
@Kevin_feder CONGRATS ON THE COMMITMENT BIG HOMIE!— Matthew Burr€ll Jr!! (@__Triumphant) June 22, 2014
Our Christopher Jason shared his insights on what he thinks Feder's commitment means:
Feder comes from one of the most successful high school programs in the country, Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey. The 6'9, 305-pound offensive line prospect has primarily played defensive line in high school, due to team needs, but he will be on the offensive side of the ball in Columbus.
With a physically imposing stature, Feder can actually fill out his frame even more with muscle mass, which would make him the perfect offensive tackle (size-wise) at Ohio State. His height, combined with his long arms and athletic footwork will only help him once he gets the proper offensive line coaching. His tape is primarily of him playing on the defensive line, in which he shows a great motor and athleticism for a man of his size.
Right now, Feder is an offensive project. But as they say, "you can't teach size," and Feder is the very definition of that statement. It will be interesting to follow his senior season to see how he improves once he focuses more on playing offensive line. Given the lack of meaningful snaps on offense, Feder could be a redshirt candidate for his first year in Columbus.