We continue our "Bucks To The Future" series today with a look at the first offensive lineman to join the "Elite 15." Let's tell the story of Grant Schmidt and how the Buckeyes seemingly came from nowhere to land the best player from the state of South Dakota.
Weight: 275 pounds
247Composite: 52nd ranked OT, No. 1 player from South Dakota, 462nd best overall in his class
High School: Roosevelt High School, Sioux Falls, SD
The story of Grant Schmidt began in his sophomore season at Roosevelt High School (SD) when he made a visit to Nebraska during January of 2013. That's when other programs began taking notice in the South Dakota prospect. Around April of 2013, Schmidt received his first offer from a program right in his backyard -- South Dakota State. On April 20th, Schmidt would take another visit to a Big Ten program in Iowa.
When June rolled around two years ago, Schmidt found himself in Columbus as a participant in the Nike Football Training Camp right on the Buckeyes campus. However, not much developed between Schmidt and Ohio State during his stop in Ohio. Schmidt did receive good news just four days after taking part in the camp, when he picked up his second offer from Washington State. Later that month, Schmidt decided he wanted to make a return visit to Nebraska, and he did on June 16th.
About one month later, yet another Big Ten program had their sights on Schmidt. Jerry Kill and Minnesota were the latest school to show interest in the three-star offensive lineman. On July 21st, Schmidt took part in the Gophers "Junior Elite" camp. The ability that he was able to showcase in front of the Minnesota staff was impressive enough to land him his third offer. The offer would bring Schmidt back to the campus in the middle of September.
On October 5th, Schmidt took a third trip to Lincoln to watch Nebraska face off against the Fighting Illini. The Cornhuskers put on a good showing in front of Schmidt by cruising to a 39-19 win. Nebraska wasn't the only team that was going to get a third visit from Schmidt, however.
On October 26th of 2013, Schmidt took his third trip to Minnesota. He took in the Gophers win over the Cornhuskers, 34-23, in TCF Bank Stadium. Shortly after the visit, Schmidt put Minnesota at the top of his list and named them the leader for his pledge.
The Hawkeyes hosted Schmidt for an unofficial visit in the beginning of November, when they squared off against Wisconsin. The 28-9 win by the Badgers must have impressed Schmidt, because he then began planning to give Wisconsin a look. About a week after that trip to Iowa, Schmidt picked up his fourth offer, this time from North Carolina. Schmidt ended the month by seeing the Badgers season finale of the 2013 season, a game in which they would ultimately lose to Penn State.
When January of last year rolled around, the Gophers were still in prime position for the massive offensive lineman. It was also a month in which he landed his fifth offer from the Utah Utes. In February, Schmidt made two junior day trips and they were both schools that he had seen previously. Minnesota and Nebraska had Schmidt on campus yet again.
In March, Cincinnati and Iowa State joined in on the pursuit for Schmidt. But it was still all about Minnesota and he was going to be taking his fifth visit to the Gophers campus that April. It was virtually a lock for Schmidt to play his collegiate ball under Jerry Kill but Rutgers still tried to get into the picture with an offer.
On May 1st of 2014 is when the story took a huge twist. Urban Meyer and Ohio State jumped into the mix with an offer and everything changed for Schmidt. The next month, on June 6th, Schmidt made his first stop in Columbus and participated in a summer camp in hopes to make his offer a committable one. The showing at the camp was all that the staff had to see to make it of the committable variety and Schmidt wasted no time.
On June 9th, it was time for Schmidt to make his decision and it was Ohio State who landed his services. At the time, Schmidt joined Joe Burrow, Jamel Dean, Eric Glover-Williams and Tyler Green as members of the 2015 recruiting class. The pickup for the Buckeyes was one that had national recruiting analysts buzzing, including 247Sports' JC Shurburtt.
When the high school football season rolled around for Schmidt, he made a move to defensive tackle to help his team in the first few games. On August 30th, Schmidt suffered an injury to his ankle during his fifth game of the year. The initial fear for Schmidt was that it was broken but that was not the case. The injury did keep Schmidt out for a few games, however.
Schmidt made an unofficial visit to Ohio State on November 29th for "The Game", which the Buckeyes came out victorious. About a week later, Schmidt was presented with his Semper Fidelis All-America jersey at his high school. Then, it was right back to Columbus for Schmidt, as he made his official visit to Columbus on December 12th.
The last stop for Schmidt was out to California for the Semper Fi game. Schmidt could not play in the game for precautionary reasons, as he was recovering from a shoulder injury. After taking in the game, it was time for Schmidt to get ready for his new home. He is now currently enrolled at Ohio State and taking classes.
As you can see above, Schmidt has dealt with a few injuries in the past. However, he quickly bounced back from an ankle injury in his senior season at Roosevelt and he wasn't far off from playing in the Semper Fidelis game just about one week ago.
Schmidt is currently on campus and the first thing on the agenda for him will be to make a full recovery. No matter what the case may be, it will probably be in Schmidt's best interest to take a redshirt year. The Buckeyes are only losing their RT Darryl Baldwin for the upcoming season on the offensive line. Jamarco Jones or Chase Farris will likely be the replacement at that position.
The Buckeyes also have a handful of guys like Joel Hale, Marcelys Jones, Demetrius Knox, Evan Lisle and Kyle Trout that have been in the system and will be in the best position to get reps if need be. Schmidt is a raw player and has some learning to do like every freshman does. He should probably take the redshirt year, gain full knowledge of the system and spend time getting his body in the best condition as possible for the 2016 season.
Did you know?
Grant Schmidt was the first player ever to commit to Ohio State from the state of South Dakota.