Ryan Day pushes back that lineman recruiting does not fit Ohio State standards in 2023

On3 imageby:Griffin McVeigh12/27/23

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For a fifth consecutive cycle, Ohio State is going to finish with a top-five recruiting class. There was a bit of a different feeling this go-round though, with head coach Ryan Day holding on for dear life in a couple of recruitments. It’s also a class full of highly-rated skill position players with some perceived weakness on the line of scrimmage.

Day was asked if the group of linemen Ohio State is bringing in is below the program’s standards, specifically on the offensive line. He pushed back on the idea, saying he is happy with the group coming to Columbus.

“We try to identify the guys that we think are the right fit for us,” Day said. “And we go get them. I’m really excited about the guys that we have. We think that they fit really well on offense… We always want to be the best in the country and we have a great group coming in.”

Four-star IOL Ian Moore is the highest-ranked of the bunch, coming in at No. 151 in the country per the On3 Industry Rankings. Three others were signed but Gabe VanSickle is the only other blue-chip prospect. Deontae Armstrong is the only one to be considered an offensive tackle, while his brother, Devontae Armstrong, is in the class as well.

Ryan Day trusting evaluations on offensive line

In the previous four cycles, Ohio State had been able to sign at least one offensive lineman ranked inside of the top 100. Two of them were five-star prospects, with Donovan Jackson still being on campus as the starting left guard and Paris Johnson going No. 6 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Arizona Cardinals.

Any head coach will tell you that rankings are not the end all be all. Day says Ohio State has seen its linemen throughout their recruitment and has a solid projection of what their potential is. He seemingly feels comfortable with the quartet of players stepping on campus in the near future.

“You have them in camp,” Day said. “You see them in camp, you see what they’re going to do. You project into what they’re going to be. And then ultimately, you have to fit in the needs that you have.”

Offensive linemen ready to start from Day One are rare, especially when you recruit at the level Ohio State does. Day will have plenty of time to work this year’s group up, hoping they can become solid contributors and maybe even stars down the road.