While America sits and waits for soccer — yes, soccer — Urban Meyer and his coaching staff were hard at work today and secured their 10th commitment for their suddenly surging 2015 class. This time, it was Ramsey, New Jersey offensive lineman Kevin Feder, a 6-foot-9, 305-pounder from the Garden State who had committed to the University of Miami in January.
Feder decided he wanted to explore his options and make sure he'd made the right choice and Ohio State was one school he'd always wanted to check out, so he did. Like Ohio State's seventh commitment, Nick Conner, Feder needed to show up in Columbus and put on a show for the Buckeye coaching staff and he did just that, earning an offer during his visit and committing to the Buckeyes before he left Ohio.
So what are the Buckeyes getting? A player with a much higher upside than his arbitrarily decided star-ranking indicates, according to most people who've seen him. As a junior, Feder suffered a broken leg that impacted much of his season, keeping him off the field for a good portion of the year. When he returned the lineup for the Ironmen of Don Bosco Prep, he primarily played along the defensive line where he shored up a struggling run defense.
Feder played his freshman season at Parsippany Hills and transferred to Don Bosco Prep as a sophomore, but didn't play much, then suffered his injury as a junior. He's raw, there's no doubt about that, but his size, skill and speed combination make him too intriguing to pass up. Rivals.com analyst Marc Givler saw him during Ohio State's camp this past week and agreed whole-heartedly with the Buckeyes decision to offer him.
"His footwork was better than you would expect for someone with little experience and as his technique improves he has a chance to be a special player," Givler said of Feder's performance. "If you watched the (offensive line) group on Thursday, he was the first one you noticed. He just towered over the rest of the group which had plenty of guys that were 6-foot-4 to 6-foot-6. He's just an incredible physical specimen on the hoof."
"Once they started drills, it was also apparent he was the most athletic guy in the drills and he reaffirmed that by winning 'Smokehouse.'"
"Smokehouse," for the uninitiated, is the final drill of camp sessions for the Buckeyes. It's a sprint, nothing more nothing less. A sprint to determine the fastest player in each positional group. Feder — at 6-foot-9, 305-pounds with size 17 shoes — went out and won it. He's big, but he's an athlete. He's a heavyweight wrestler with a frame that could easily add another 50-pounds. Oh yeah, he may very well still be growing: doctors suggest he could end up at 7-foot-tall.
Feder's commitment is the second offensive lineman in the class joining South Dakota's Grant Schmidt. In discussions with sources around the Ohio State program, I've been told that the Buckeyes believe they have room for another three offensive lineman in the 2015 class. There are a few key names to watch moving forward, and most of them are much more recognizable name than Schmidt and Feder, although that doesn't mean squat when it comes to evaluations by the Buckeyes. They saw Feder and Schmidt in person and were sold on each, and that's good enough for me.
The Buckeyes are in excellent shape still for James Daniels, Matt Burrell, Andre James, Drew Richmond and a host of others, so with two building blocks in place, they'll look to add cornerstones in rounding out the group.