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?
Ohio State added a surprise commitment to their 2016 recruiting list today as Nassau Community College lineman Malcolm Pridgeon picked the Buckeyes over Baylor.
How will he impact the Buckeyes? Let's check it out.
ON THE FIELD
If you take a look at the frame of Malcolm Pridgeon, it's easy to see why Scout.com has him pegged as a five-star prospect.
"He's a 6-foot-8, 323-pound kid with no body fat," Joe Osovet, a former coach of Pridgeon's at Nassau CC, told Eleven Warriors. "When you talk about major league offensive lineman, you talk about all the intangibles. Can the kid bend? Does the kid have work-ethic, does he have feet? Is he long? (Malcolm) has all those things. He checks all those boxes. He was one of those kids when he came in that we thought had the ability and work ethic to get it done."
Pridgeon's former coach said that one of the reasons the Buckeyes were the choice was familiarity with the system Ohio State runs. That could help him find the field very early after he arrives on campus in June.
"We're very similar to what Ohio State does up front," Osovet said. "The learning curve doesn't have to be so severe, it's more terminology than schematics."
IN THE CLASS
The fifth offensive lineman in Ohio State's 2016 class, Pridgeon's pledge brings Ed Warinner and Greg Studrawa a player that is ready to play immediately, something that isn't likely with the other four incoming freshmen.
The country's third-ranked JUCO offensive tackle, Pridgeon is a four-star prospect according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings and the fourth-overall prospect in the JUCO ranks. Ohio State rarely looks for junior college talent, but Pridgeon's overall game was too much to ignore.
If he pans out to expectations, his time in Columbus could be as short as a few months because he's got NFL-level talent.
Osovet, a former JUCO coach of the year, raved about Pridgeon as a young man.
"Forget about what he does on the field, he's as good a person off the field with a good work-ethic and does everything right," Osovet said. "Sometimes that's uncharacteristic of a kid coming from a junior college."
That attitude was reflected in his conversations with Pridgeon following his official visit to Ohio State this past weekend.
"The thing that stood out–and this tells you what kind of type of character and what type of kid he is–he didn't speak about the facilities, he didn't speak about the coaches," Osovet added. "He said 'Coach, Ohio State's academic support system is above and beyond any of the places I've been to on all of my five visits.' That right there tells you what kind of kid Malcolm Pridgeon is. That's a special kid."