It's time to better know the incoming class of true freshmen football players at Ohio State. We provide these comprehensive player profiles each offseason, titled "Better Know a Buckeye", to provide Ohio State football fans a more thorough understanding of our incoming freshmen and how they may factor into Ohio State football's immediate and long-term plans.
- Size: 6-5/300
- Position: OG
- School: Bradenton, FL (IMG Academy)
- 247 Composite: ★★★★
- National Ranking: 162
- Position Ranking: 8 (OG)
- State Ranking: 25 (OH)
We start with Tyler Gerald, a Portsmouth, Ohio native currently enrolled at Ohio State by way of the IMG Academy in Florida. Gerald's odyssey to Ohio State is unique. Southern Ohio (not to be confused Southwest Ohio) does not produce a lot of football talent. Gerald emerged as a blue chip prospect from this region and earned and Ohio State offer. He accepted the Buckeyes' offer a month after it came. He solidified his status as Under Armour All-American after he transferred to the IMG Academy and comes to Ohio State as the No. 8 guard prospect in his class.
I retell his recruitment below and his commitment. I proceed with a scouting report of Tyler Gerald, highlighting what he does well and what are areas for improvement. I discuss the possibility of a redshirt year as a freshman before concluding with highlight film for the reader to watch at the end of his profile.
Portsmouth, Ohio is a small town of 20,000 residents on the border with Kentucky. Only the dedicated recruiting analyst can recall major prospects emerging from that town. Gerald Cadogan signed with Penn State from Portsmouth High School in 2004. That high school also produced Nate Cadogan (Penn State, 2008) and John Prior (Florida State, 2009). Levi Ratliff joined Ohio State's program recently as a walk-on from West Portsmouth. These are exceptions to the rule that the area does not produce major college football prospects.
More Tyler Gerald at 11W
Tyler Gerald was part of that exception. He already had an offer from Kent State, but he was eyeing even more after his sophomore year at Sciotoville Community School. He solicited interest from Cincinnati, Minnesota, and Northwestern. Ohio State was also in contact. He even visited the Buckeyes at the end of March 2014 and met with Tom Herman, who was his primary recruiter at the time.
Virginia Tech was the first major player for Tyler Gerald's services. The Hokies have done well of late to establish a minor footprint in Ohio, especially searching for hidden gems from smaller high schools in the Buckeye State. Frank Beamer's program encouraged Gerald to make the four-hour drive to Blacksburg for the Hokies' 2014 spring game.
The visit paid dividends for Gerald. A Virginia Tech assistant coach stopped by his school two weeks later to inform him that he had a scholarship offer from Frank Beamer.
Ed Warinner stopped by his high school to match the offer two days later.
Gerald intended to go through the normal recruiting process and take official visits, though he had yet to begin his junior year. This may have been the plan, but all analysts predicted an impending commitment to Ohio State. Gerald professed his lifelong love of Ohio State football. It was unlikely Virginia Tech's program could offer anything to supplant this affinity for Ohio State's program.
Gerald made camp visits in June 2014. Virginia Tech got the first camp visit on June 8. The next camp visit came a week later. He drove to Ohio State for its One Day Position Camp. His high school coach thought he would likely commit there. He did.
Tyler Gerald cemented his place as the first verbal pledge in what became Ohio State's 2016 recruiting class when he committed to the Buckeyes on June 19, 2014.
The nature of his commitment, which came more than two years before he would don an Ohio State jersey for the first time, suggests there was just too much to the thought of an Ohio kid playing in Ohio Stadium for Ohio State for Gerald to eschew for another opportunity at Virginia Tech. He reiterated this in our community interview from May 2015.
As a kid in Ohio, you always dream of playing at Ohio State. When I started to get recruited by them it only made me work that much harder and even after my commitment when I train and practice I think of being able to impact my team as well as I possibly can. It's a great privilege and honor to play for my home state, the greatest fans in the country and the best coaches in the nation.
Gerald had just four offers when he committed to Ohio State over Virginia Tech (Kent State and Toledo were the others). He later acquired offers from Alabama, Florida State, and Penn State, but never wavered on his commitment.
WHERE HE EXCELS
Tyler Gerald is currently enrolled at Ohio State after completing his secondary education at the IMG Academy in Florida. These private boarding schools are becoming fodder for college football programs because they can lure top talent and pay for top high school coaches. This improves the caliber of training for someone like Tyler Gerald that he might not otherwise get at Sciotoville Community School. Gerald improved for his one-year stay at IMG Academy even if he battled shoulder injuries throughout the season.
Run-blocking was Gerald's greatest attribute before he transferred to IMG. His time there only helped him become better in this aspect of his game. He played a lot of left guard at IMG and showed a good ability to pull and lead block on power plays. He reliably carries defensive linemen with him into the second level.
I'm intrigued by his frame and what Mickey Marotti could do with it in the weight room. Gerald is discernibly stronger than the competition he was facing at IMG. Do note this selection effect. IMG does not shirk from scheduling the best available teams to play in football.
247 lists Tyler Gerald at 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds. Ohio State does not have statistics available for the 2016 roster yet, but Gerald reportedly dropped 20 pounds of "bad weight" and could gain it back in "good weight" before the season starts. He uses his natural strength and frame to his advantage. He finishes blocks with authority because his most his strength is concentrated in his lower body. That's a good thing.
MUST WORK ON
All high school football is run-intensive. It's rare to find a top-tier offensive line prospect who is as good a pass-blocker as he is a run-blocker. Tyler Gerald is no different in that regard. His pass-blocking needs some work.
I think it's his hands that need the most attention from Ed Warinner and Greg Studrawa. Gerald seems to rely on his strength to pick up blitzes when he'll want to use his hands to make first contact with pass-rushers.
Tyler Gerald is recuperating from a nagging shoulder injury that cost him a full and healthy season at IMG Academy. He should recover fully from that.
My best guess is he redshirts in 2016. Ohio State already redshirted all but one of its offensive linemen last year. There's already an open guard spot vacated by Pat Elflein's impending move to center but there are no shortage of options right now to take it.
I expect Gerald to sit his first year on campus.
I've yet to see highlights from Tyler Gerald's junior year. Film is scarce for his senior year at IMG. Here are 18 minutes of footage from his sophomore year.