Ohio State closed out the 2018 recruiting calendar with one last earth-shaking BOOM, as the No. 7 player in the country, Nicholas Petit-Frere, decided to join the Buckeyes, spurning his home-state Florida Gators, Alabama, and many others. Petit-Frere committed to the Buckeyes on ESPNU.
The top offensive tackle in the country according to 247Sports, the Tampa native holds a five-star, 0.9963 rating and is the third highest ranked player from the talent-rich state of Florida. A bit of a roller-coaster recruiting process, the decision seems to have been sealed as Petit-Frere took his final official visit to Columbus last weekend.
Despite being an offensive lineman, defensive coordinator Greg Schiano was the coach primarily responsible for Petit-Frere’s recruiting, at least in part because of his time spent in the Tampa area as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With speculation that Schiano could head back to the NFL as the D-Cor for the New England Patriots, many Buckeye fans were concerned that the coach’s departure could negatively impact Petit-Frere’s final decision.
However, today, at a ceremony at his high school, Berkeley Prep, the 6’6, 272-pound lineman officially became a member of the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Nicholas Petit-Frere is a top ten player nationally, and a consensus five-star for very good reason. The Tampa tackle shines because of his extremely rare combination of size, versatility, athleticism and technical skill. At 6-foot-6, 272 pounds, Petit-Frere has some muscle weight to add in Ohio State’s weight program, but even at his current size he’s easily strong enough to survive in the Big Ten.
He moves extremely well for someone as big as he is, and honestly, he looks more like a basketball player (he plays center for his high school basketball team) than he does a football player. He has impressive footwork, great pad level, and he does a great job of getting downhill on his blocks.
He plays hard through the whistle, and punishes defensive linemen that over pursue. He’s a very smart player, and if coached correctly, he’s a future first round pick. The only thing he really needs to improve is his pass blocking, which is really common with high school linemen. His team doesn’t pass a ton, so he’ll need to get plenty of pass protection reps in before he’s ready to play in Columbus. I don’t expect him to start as a freshman, but he should find the field very early on in his career.
Ohio State’s Class of 2018
|Antwuan Jackson Jr.||DT||6'2.25||305||Yes|