It’s only been a single recruiting class (not even a full one), but we’re starting to get a pretty good idea of what Ryan Day wants at almost every single position in recruiting. We know that he wants accurate, well built passers at quarterback, speed at halfback, route running and catching at receiver, and a balance of elite, college ready offensive linemen and versatile, athletic projects.
The latest Buckeye commitment, Josh Fryar, straddles that line a little bit. While Luke Wypler and Paris Johnson are firmly on the college ready side, and Jakob james and Trey Leroux will take extra development, Fryar and another recent commitment, Grant Toutant, can’t really be categorized into either group. Neither a full projects, but both have habits that need corrected, and both have learning to do about offensive line play before they’re ready to start in Columbus. What does that mean in Fryar’s case?
On the field
The most appealing thing about Fryar as a prospect is, interestingly enough, the lack of a defined position. That’s usually not something that you love to see from a recruit, because it means more work for the coaching staff, but in Fryar’s case it’s absolutely a good thing. Why is that?
Well, at 6-foot-5, 300 pounds, Fryar has the build to play just about anywhere Ohio State would want him up front, and he backs up that size versatility with athletic versatility, because he moves as well as just about any lineman in the country. All of that means, essentially, that he can play wherever Ohio State needs him to play. He could play center, like he does in high school, with minimal learning curve.
He could kick out one spot in either direction to guard, and while it may take a little extra time to make that transition, guard may be a better use of Fryar’s size, strength, and ability to get down the field. You want your guards to be good athletes so that they can pull, and so they can help out tackles, and I think Fryar would probably best fit in that role.
If you really want to get fancy, Fryar could even move out to tackle. This would be the steepest learning curve, but he has the size to do it, and a hyper-athletic tackle with good length is essentially the recipe for a first round draft pick. That’s probably the highest risk highest reward choice, so I wouldn’t bank on it being the pick, but this is the exact appeal of Fryar. He can play anywhere.
My guess is that Fryar is the next in a long line of Buckeyes to start at guard, play at guard, and then move in to center as a senior. It worked well for Billy Price and Pat Elflein, and well, it worked less well with Michael Jordan. Luckily, Fryar is naturally a center, so that transition would be pretty easy for him if that’s a move Ohio State wants to make in the future.
In the class
Fryar is the 18th member of Ohio State’s 2020 class, and the second pledge of the day, along with safety Cameron Martinez. He’s, as I mentioned, the sixth and final member of the offensive line group, which means that Ohio State will likely finish with three tackles, a guard, a center, and Fryar, who could play anywhere. That’s pretty solid class-balance, if you ask me.
Ohio State won this recruitment almost entirely thanks to an excellent visit back on June 21st. Indiana and Penn State had both made their pitches, and I think Ohio State may have honestly been third in the running heading into that visit. Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson weren’t ready to give in though, and showed Fryar everything he needed to know about Ohio State to convince him to leave Indiana for Columbus.
Fryar’s pledge moves Ohio State even closer to LSU in the 247Sports team rankings. The Buckeyes are now just nine point back from the third ranked Tigers, and with several more top targets still set to commit this month, the Buckeyes are primed to take that spot sooner than later.