Analyzing impact as 4-star lineman George Fitzpatrick commits to Ohio State

Aritcle written by:Jeremy BirminghamJeremy Birmingham

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COLUMBUS — Ohio State’s hot recruiting stretch has another win: George Fitzpatrick has committed to the Buckeyes.

The 4-star offensive tackle from Cherry Creek (Englewood, Colo.) High School worked toward a decision after a busy month of June. Colorado’s No. 2-ranked player made official visits to Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Oregon and Oklahoma. When the dust settled, it was the Buckeyes visit that stood tall.

Lettermen Row is breaking down Fitzpatrick’s choice and what his commitment means to Ohio State, the Big Ten and the national recruiting scene for the Class of 2022.

What George Fitzpatrick gives Ohio State on field

Ohio State has been searching for a more traditional tackle in the Class of 2022, and the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Fitzpatrick is one of those guys. The country’s No. 27-ranked offensive tackle is one of the nation’s most athletic blockers and shows great ability to get down the field to pick off defenders at the second level. He drives through opponents and is aggressive as a run blocker at the point of attack. There’s not a lot of video with Fitzpatrick in pass protection, but his footwork is solid and his frame should easily carry 35 or 40 more pounds by the time he’s counted on by Greg Studrawa. He’s raw, only playing on the offensive line for two years, but the former lacrosse player has excellent athleticism.

A first-team All Centennial League selection in Colorado, Fitzpatrick has high upside. He’ll certainly need to continue growing physically in order to contribute in the Big Ten, though, and will have to prove himself as a pass protector. But he has shown excellent technique in that area of the game.

As far as a Buckeyes comparison? Jamarco Jones is the first guy who pops into mind with Fitzpatrick. He’s big, athletic, smart and plays with a mean streak. The Ohio State coaching staff loves the long arms and good height in a tackle and Fitzpatrick checks those boxes.

What pickup means for Ohio State 2022 recruiting class

The biggest thing the addition of George Fitzpatrick does is put a lot of pressure on the Buckeyes remaining offensive line targets. There’s a plan to only take three offensive linemen in the Class of 2022 — and now Greg Studrawa has two verbals, with Fitzpatrick and Tegra Tshabola.

There is a rather large list of names out there that will have to consider whether or not they want to join the Ohio State class in the near future. That includes in-state lineman Aamil Wagner, highly-rated national prospects like Addison Nichols, Earnest Greene, Tyler Booker, Billy Schrauth, Kam Dewberry and Zach Rice. There will be serious discussions on the Buckeyes front about exactly how many lineman they can and should take in 2022, because it’s hard to imagine saying no to any of those guys.

Fitzpatrick picked Ohio State over 28 other schools that offered. That list includes a number of the country’s most prestigious programs, including the four he visited officially. Auburn, Miami, Notre Dame and a host of major programs were after the Colorado tackle, but Oklahoma and Florida were the primary contenders. National rankings don’t have George Fitzpatrick as highly valued as college coaches around the country, clearly.

Greg Studrawa and Tony Alford were each very involved in the recruitment from the Buckeyes point of view. Alford is the area recruiter in Colorado for Ohio State — and Studrawa, along with his assistant Kennedy Cook, put the finishing touches on his official visit.

How George Fitzpatrick impacts 2022 recruiting rankings

The Buckeyes hold on the No. 1 spot in the 2022 class rankings grows with the addition on Thursday, and they lead in per-player average as well according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Ohio State has been on a roll in recent weeks, with four new additions to the class since the start of June. Kaleb Brown, Dallan Hayden, Terrance Brooks and Kojo Antwi have all picked the Buckeyes recently. Only Penn State and Notre Dame, with 18 commitments apiece, are ahead of the Buckeyes in total number of commits.

Ohio State has four commitments currently ranked as five-star prospects, which is the most five-star pledges in the country. The Buckeyes are also tied with Notre Dame for the most 4-star commitments. Each school has 11.

The 5-star group includes quarterback Quinn Ewers, cornerback Jaheim Singletary, receiver Caleb Burton and linebacker C.J. Hicks. The remainder of the Buckeyes class consists of running back Dallan Hayden, receiver Kyion Grayes,  Kaleb Brown and Kojo Antwi, offensive lineman Tegra Tshabola, tight ends Bennett Christian and Benji Gosnell, linebacker Gabe Powers and defensive backs Terrance Brooks, Jyaire Brown, Kye Stokes and Ryan Turner.