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Column: Newly hired OL coach Justin Frye is making early noise on the recruiting trail

The addition of Justin Frye, formerly of UCLA, is already paying dividendsfor the Buckeyes.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

It was just one month ago that Sean Rhyan, an offensive lineman at UCLA for the past three seasons, spoke to the media at the NFL combine about playing under Ohio State's newly hired offensive line coach Justin Frye in Los Angeles. "You're gonna learn to love him," the No. 96 overall prospect on the PFF big board said about Frye.

While Rhyan, a first-team All-Pac-12 selection last year, was unquestionably talking about Frye as a coach on the sidelines and a mentor, early indications show that Buckeye fans might love what the Indiana alum will bring to the table as a recruiter for Ohio State as well.

Oregon State v. UCLA

Frye, since being hired by head coach Ryan Day back in January, has already hit a home run on the trail in the 2023 class. It came when he propelled the Buckeyes into securing the top in-state prospect in the class and arguably their top overall target when four-star offensive tackle Luke Montgomery of Findlay (OH) announced his pledge to the program in mid-February. The Top 50 prospect selected the home team over the likes of Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Penn State.

Montgomery was commitment No. 2 along the offensive front for the Buckeyes, as four-star interior offensive lineman Joshua Padilla of Wayne (OH) had already been in the fold since November of last year. But despite pledging to Ohio State prior to the addition of Frye to the coaching staff, the 6-foot-4, 265-pounder has had no qualms or concerns to date about his standing with the program.

To add to the early success that Frye has had in landing Montgomery and keeping Padilla, the top two offensive linemen in the state, we also know that the Buckeyes are among the finalists for both four-star interior offensive lineman Austin Siereveld of Lakota East (OH) and three-star offensive tackle Trevor Lauck of Roncalli (IN). The former is down to six schools with Alabama, Cincinnati, Iowa, Michigan, and Notre Dame also in the running with the Buckeyes — the 247Sports Crystal Ball favorite. As for Lauck, while there may be some questions about weather he is a take for now, he also penciled in Ohio State as one of the eight programs in contention for his services.

The aforementioned Lauck and Siereveld aren't the only two that hold the scarlet and gray in high regard however. In recent days, a pair of blue-chip prospects have also slotted in the Buckeyes as a program that are firmly in the mix for their services. Those two are four-star offensive tackle Chase Bisontis of Don Bosco Prep (NJ) and four-star offensive tackle Olaus Alinen of The Loomis Chaffee School (CT).

Bisontis is a prospect that Ohio State has pursued for quite some time now, as they offered the 6-foot-5, 290-pounder back in December of 2020 when Greg Studrawa was still running the room. Fast forward to today, and Frye has the Buckeyes as one of eight teams that the No. 57 overall prospect is considering in his recruitment. Aside from Ohio State, the Ramsey native is also focusing on the likes of Georgia, LSU, Miami (OH), Michigan State, Rutgers, Texas, and Texas A&M, he announced on Twitter less than 24 hours ago.

As for Alinen, the top-graded player from the state of Connecticut, he went ahead and narrowed things down even further than Bisontis did. The Windsor native now has the Buckeyes in his top four, and Frye will have to pull out all the stops to outlast Alabama, Georgia, and Miami (OH) if they want to land the mammoth tackle. For now, Alinen is projected to wind up in Tuscaloosa with the Crimson Tide, according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball.

Nonetheless, Frye has already made a major impact on some of the top offensive line prospects in the 2023 recruiting class. If the start that he has had for Ohio State is any indication of how things could go on the recruiting trail going forward, it looks like the Buckeyes are in good hands up front.