Ohio State Commits Jack Wohlabaugh, Gavin Cupp React to New Coach, Prepare for Next Challenge

By Jeremy Birmingham on January 17, 2016 at 8:30 am
Ohio State commit Gavin Cupp at Friday Night Lights.
Gavin Cupp

Last Monday, two of the Buckeyes' four 2016 offensive line commitments, guard Tyler Gerald and tackle Michael Jordan, began their college careers and enrolled at Ohio State. 

By Thursday, the pair had their first real taste of what the business of college football is all about when they found out that the man they thought would be their position coach at Ohio State–Ed Warinner–would not be. Instead, the Buckeyes hired former LSU offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa to coach the linemen and Warinner would slide over to the tight ends, a move that would help him focus on his responsibilities as Ohio State's current offensive coordinator.

The two offensive linemen that didn't enroll early, Stow's Jack Wohlabaugh and Leipsic's Gavin Cupp, had to deal with the staff change as well. 

"The first thing I did was ask my dad (former NFL player Dave Wohlabaugh) if he knew anything about him," Wohlabaugh, a standout at Walsh Jesuit told 11W. "Then did some research. He had a lot of credentials and (my dad) has heard a lot of good things about him from other coaches."

Cupp said the move caught him off-guard, but getting a chance to talk with Studrawa as the move was being finalized calmed any concern he had.

"I was kind of just shocked, but not in a bad way," Cupp shared. "It just kinda surprised me. I'm excited though after talking to him on the phone Thursday. He sounds like a great guy and coach. He is also a northwest Ohio guy, he told me that during the call. I thought that was pretty cool."

With their new position coach in place, both Wohlabaugh and Cupp are spending their time focusing on what they'll need to do in order to make an impact when they arrive at Ohio State in June.

"They told me to focus on left guard," Cupp said. "I played left guard and camped at that position this year, I just need to keep improving my technique and strength. I am really working hard on improving my strength and footwork."

The Buckeyes, as they've done since he committed, want Wohlabaugh to work on being the man in the middle of the offensive line.

"They've told me from the beginning to focus on center," Wohlabaugh, who committed the day of Ohio State's spring game in April, said. "I've been snapping a lot. I've got to keep snapping to get it to that point in which I don't have to think about it and that it's a muscle memory. Other than that, there's been a huge focus on my grades and working out."

Wohlabaugh, listed at 6-foot-3 and 280-pounds, says he's trying to get his body ready for the rigors of Ohio State football. He said he saw first hand the physical nature of the Buckeyes' program during his official visit in December; he and Cupp were among the 14 commitments making their official visit during Fiesta Bowl practices.

"I've actually lost some body fat since the season and cut down to 275, but I haven't lost any strength," he said. "I'm looking to go in around 290. I had cut down to about 265, but I am rebuilding now. No one wants to hear that from a lineman (laughs). I just didn't want to come in out of shape. The players had been talking about the practice that they had the day before (his visit) which I guess had been one of the most physical and intense all year. I'm excited. I love being physical and I see a physical practice like that as an opportunity to prove myself."

That weekend in December was instrumental, Cupp said, as the Buckeyes' recruiting class continues to develop the bonds that will matter the most throughout their Ohio State careers.

"It was great," Cupp said of the big weekend. "I had a blast and it definitely opened my eyes about what is heading (my way). I was very impressed with everything. Getting to know the current players and getting to know my recruiting class better was really good. I hung around about everyone that weekend, especially the offensive line commits. My biggest takeaway was the work they put in, I knew that going in but it's just crazy to witness it, thinking I'll be apart of that in about five months. I've been working out and running, just getting getting as ready as I possibly can. You'll never be fully ready for that transition, but I'll be as close as I can be."

Wohlabaugh agreed that the December 11th weekend could be a big one for the class moving forward.

"The official visit really brought a lot of us closer together," he said. "We were able to spend a good amount of time with each other and the players that are already there. It was just really nice to build some relationships with the players that are already there and the commits."

With signing day around the corner, Cupp and Wohlabaugh, a pair of Ohioans that have been committed for months, said Ohio State fans should have no worries about them entertaining any other schools at this point. 

"No one has really tried to get in my ear," Wohlabaugh said. "Not since I committed." 

Cupp, whose wild recruiting ride made national news, said he's made certain there's no confusion about what his future holds.

"I haven't talked to a single school since my commitment." the Leipsic lineman stated. "One school tried to talk to me on Twitter one day and that was after I just had committed, I didn't want to take any chances (laughs)."

When they committed to the Buckeyes, both Cupp and Wohlabaugh believed they'd be lining up and working with Ed Warinner, the man who's spearheaded "The Slobs" since 2012. Ohio State's offensive coordinator told the three-star pair that it's a decision that will be for the betterment of the football program.

"It will be exciting to have to two great line coaches in a way," Wohlabaugh said. "Studrawa should be up to visit next week."

Cupp said he's at ease with the decision.

"It is going to be better for the offense," Cupp said when asked what Warinner told him. "The offensive line is in good hands."

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