A little more than a year after Ohio State landed its first 2018 commitment in the form of- running back Brian Snead at Friday Night Lights, the Buckeyes have continued their seemingly annual trend of kicking the next recruiting class off in early August. Earlier today, Huntington, five-star WV-native offensive tackle Doug Nester committed to Ohio State just over two weeks after visiting Columbus for FNL.
Nester has been expected to pick the Buckeyes, sooner rather than later, for weeks now, and it was his visit, among other things, that finally sold him on shutting down his recruitment and joining Ohio State’s 2019 class. The actual decision was made at FNL, but Nester wisely spent the last two weeks decompressing and making sure that he didn’t commit based on impulse. The feelings remained, and now, Nester is a Buckeye.
It’s really hard to put into words just how important it is for Ohio state’s 2019 class to have a five-star lineman like Nester in the fold this early on. He’s not a kid who likes to play the recruiting game, so his commitment is likely 100% strong, and he’s exciting to start recruiting other top talent; which is great news for Urban Meyer and his staff. Nester doesn’t just bring a leader to the class, he brings much more.
ON THE FIELD
As a sophomore last season, Nester started for, and dominated on, his high school team at tackle and guard, on his way to a state title game appearance, and recognition as a First-Team All-State lineman. One of the most impressive things about Nester’s game is his ability to play both guard and tackle, despite standing at 6’6 and weighing nearly 300 pounds, prototypical tackle measurements. To have the agility and mobility at that size to play both guard and tackle is both impressive and tantalizing for an offensive line coach like Greg Studrawa.
His skill, as of right now, is mainly based on his incredible strength, and ability to block for the run. He has great pad level, knows how to use leverage to his advantage, and knows quite a bit about schemes, which shows up in his game. His team doesn’t do a lot of passing, much like 2017 Ohio State signee Josh Myers, but Nester’s aggression, strength, and intelligence should make it very easy for Ohio State to mold him into a complete player.
IN THE CLASS
Nester, as mentioned, is the first commitment in Ohio State’s 2019 recruiting class. The 2018 class is expected to be a smaller one in terms of linemen, with the magic number likely being three, so it’s fair to expect that Ohio State will be looking for a full five o-linemen in 2019, and Nester will be at the forefront of that continued search. Michigan tackle Devontae Dobbs, Cincinnati guard Zeke Correll, Georgia guard Keiondre Jones, and Tampa tackle William Putnam are all on Ohio State’s watch list.
Nester picked Ohio State over 16 other offers, though the main competition for his pledge was Alabama, West Virginia, Florida, and Virginia Tech. That said, Ohio State was never really challenged for their leading position.
Nester is the first commitment to Ohio State from West Virginia under Urban Meyer, and the first West Virginian to head to Columbus to play football since tight end R.J. Coleman in 2002.