When Ryan Day made the decision to find a replacement for his offensive line coach this offseason, he was hoping it would lead to improvements both on the field and on the recruiting trail. Ohio State’s struggles up front were well-documented last season, especially when it came to run blocking, and Greg Studrawa’s recruiting abilities left a lot to be desired. In his place, the Buckeyes brought in Justin Frye from UCLA, who coached with Day at both Temple and Boston College.
It appears that move is already off to a great start, as on Thursday Frye earned his first huge commitment in the 2023 class as four-star offensive tackle Luke Montgomery committed to Ohio State.
BREAKING: Four-Star OL Luke Montgomery has Committed to Ohio State!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) February 17, 2022
The No. 35 Player in the 2023 Class (#3 IOL) chose the Buckeyes over Clemson, Penn State, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma.
More Here (FREE): https://t.co/pV83RSaIXi pic.twitter.com/wkplgzuMC9
While Montgomery is an in-state prospect, this recruitment was by no means a lock to end up in favor of the Buckeyes. Coming in as the No. 4 OT in the 2023 class and the No. 49 player in the cycle overall, Montgomery was a highly sought after commodity nationwide, as evidenced by his 34 offers. In the end, Ohio State came out on top of a final five group that included all heavy-hitters among the likes of Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and of course the Buckeyes, with Frye coming up clutch in his first big test on the trail.
Montgomery has been near the top of Ohio State’s big board for quite some time now, as he is a special type of prospect. While he comes to Columbus as an offensive tackle, Montgomery also played both tight end and defensive line in high school, and was good enough on defense as well to be recruited by some schools on that side of the ball. In addition to his versatility on the football field, he also played basketball at Findlay High School, showcasing his athleticism across multiple sports. As the No. 1 prospect in the state of Ohio, all these factors led to a heavy pursuit by the Buckeyes from early on in the process, and clearly it paid off in the end.
There were a number of factors that led to Montgomery eventually choosing Ohio State, and in talking to 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong back at the beginning of the month, the Buckeyes checked off all of the boxes.
“Culture for sure,” Montgomery told Wiltfong. “The brotherhood. Obviously, you’re going to be there three to five whatever years there. Those are the guys you’ll live with 24 hours out of the day. I have to see some pretty bright stuff from that side of view. We’re big in faith so we’d like there to be FCA and Young Life faith-based stuff. The academics as well. Everybody’s dream is to make it to the NFL but having that degree is huge.”
247Sports national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu already projects Montgomery as a potential Day 2 NFL Draft pick. Here is the full extent of his scouting report on the Findlay, Ohio native:
“[...] As an offensive lineman, he is athletic and aggressive. Keeps his feet as he drives and finishes blocks and also has the coordination and comfort in space to get out in front of plays and make blocks in the open field. Shows quickness off the snap and gets to his blocks easily because of his physical gifts. Has not played true offensive line for long although he blocked a lot as a tight end. Still has to gain more experience and technical training as a tackle, particularly in pass blocking. Frame can support more weight and will get stronger as that happens. Being new to the position means he may need some to learn once he gets to college but the upside is tremendous and he shows the demeanor, athletic background and work ethic to get to his high ceiling. Not out of the question that he is a swing guy who can play inside if needed. Projects as a high-major starter in time with Sunday potential.”
Montgomery becomes the fifth member of Ohio State’s 2023 class, which now moves up to the No. 7 group in the country. Worth noting, all of the teams ahead of the Buckeyes at this point currently have at least eight commitments, and Ohio State’s 92.86 per-player average is higher than all but two of the teams ahead of them (Notre Dame and Georgia, the No. 1 and No. 2 class, respectively). Montgomery instantly becomes the highest-rated player in Ohio State’s class, and is the third Ohio native among the group, joining OL Joshua Padilla and DL Will Smith.
For a more in-depth look at what Montgomery will bring to the Buckeyes, be sure to check out our film breakdown on the two-way prospect from earlier this month. You can also take a look at his impressive highlight tape from his junior season below: