What Does Austin Mack Bring to Ohio State?

By Jeremy Birmingham on June 7, 2015 at 10:46 am
Austin Mack has committed to the Buckeyes: now what?
Austin Mack

Finding the right fit for your college football program isn't just about what happens on the field, but off it as well. Today, Ohio State added a key piece. How will that commitment impact the Buckeyes?

Long thought to be a Buckeye "lean," Fort Wayne, Indiana's Austin Mack made it official moments ago and committed to the Buckeyes


Despite only being ranked as the country's 24th-ranked wide receiver, Mack has been the unquestioned top target for the Buckeyes at the position since June of 2014 when he camped at Ohio State for the first time. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder impressed the coaches in Columbus, not just with his physical traits but his overall attitude and demeanor.

"He's the best in the country," one source close to the Buckeyes said about Mack. "His intangibles put him over the top."

That's not to say the physical gifts Mack possesses aren't impressive; because they are. Aside from his frame, he can run – he's regularly under 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard-dash – and he's got above-average hands and uses his body well to put himself in the best position to make a catch.

Another source close to the Buckeyes had this to say about the four-star wideout.

"(Mack) came out and competed and earned it in camps," the source said. "He dominated at a June one-day and then again at Friday Night Lights. He established himself as that top guy by showing great talent, but also his competitive nature. He's an Alpha-Dog type."

Ohio State will likely lose Michael Thomas following the 2015 season, and a player with Mack's size and speed combination will give them an excellent replacement for Thomas down the line. 


As it pertains to the recruiting class itself, Mack's commitment is a very important one. The first pure wide receiver in a group that is likely to number only two, the Fort Wayne native's pledge means that the Buckeyes' coaching staff can focus on a few remaining pieces. More importantly, they'll be able to do it knowing that even if they miss on players like Donnie Corley, Nate Craig-Myers, Tre Nixon, Binjimen Victor, or Daniel Crowell, they've got their top target still in the mix. 

As the 16th commitment in a class that is expected to number somewhere around 23, Mack is essential not only because he's a very talented wide receiver, but he plans to be an active recruiter for the Buckeyes. In fact, behind the scenes, Mack has been working hard for Ohio State for almost seven months. He was a key part of the recruitment of Kareem Walker and has been in the ears of the Ohio State staff for months. He could be the vocal leader the group has been looking for.


As noted above, Mack is not just a talented football player. He's an exceptional young man, active in his community at soup kitchens and helping local parks with landscaping in his spare time. He's an above-average student (he holds a 3.5 GPA) and as mentioned, a leader on and off the field. 

Going into Bishop Luers, a traditional Notre Dame hotbed, to take one of Indiana's primetime players is also a big deal, akin to the Irish taking a Buckeye target from Cleveland Glenville.

Mack has hinted to me in the past that he'll consider taking official visits around the country this fall if permitted, but this commitment is about as solid as any the Buckeyes have had yet for 2016.

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