Jake Wray knew he wanted to go to Ohio State from the time he stepped foot on campus for an unofficial visit last April. It just so happens that his older brother, Max, beat him to the punch.
“I immediately fell in love with the school,” Wray told Eleven Warriors shortly after he pledged his services to the Buckeyes this afternoon. “I just went there and got this feeling that you really can’t describe. I never got it at any other school.”
The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Wray took his time with announcing his college decision, however. He wanted to wait until head coach Urban Meyer received a contract extension — ensuring he’d remain in Columbus for at least the first two years of Jake’s college career — and for a behind-the-scenes report from Max, who just completed his first spring practice with the Buckeyes.
“I knew I wanted to go to Ohio State and I knew my feelings wouldn’t change, but I just wanted to make sure,” Wray said. “That kind of just solidified it.”
With Monday afternoon’s decision, Wray became the first member of Ohio State’s 2020 recruiting class. It’s the earliest the Buckeyes have picked up a commitment in three cycles, which — of course — can be credited to the fact that Jake first started going unofficial visits with Max when he was in eighth grade.
“I wouldn’t really consider them for him,” Wray said. “I’d look at it like, ‘Hey, I’m a recruit. What’s cool about this place?’ I just kind of kept doing that.”
The Wrays always dreamed of playing together in college, but Max never openly recruited his brother to join him in Columbus. If anything, he wanted him to find the school and program that fit him best.
Luckily for the Buckeyes, Meyer and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa provided such an opportunity.
“Getting to know coach Meyer has been surreal. Like, ‘Wow. Coach Meyer is really sitting in front of me,’” Wray said. “All the success he’s had and what a great coach he is. He’s just a great guy. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him and I’m excited to get to continue to know him.
“And coach Stud. I don’t have any words to describe coach Stud,” he continued. “He’s a funny guy, really energetic and never runs out of coffee. He’s always excited and looking for ways to better the team. There’s not a lot of negative. Even if he does say something bad, it’s just constructive criticism because he’s trying to make you better and he does care for you. He holds you accountable, and that’s the kind of standard there should be.”
Though there’s still 19 months until the Early Signing Period, Wray is shutting down his recruitment entirely. With his mind already made up, he just wanted to put the process behind him. Now, Wray’s 100 percent committed to Ohio State and looking forward to putting all his efforts into recruiting on behalf of the Buckeyes.
“Our class is going to be exciting,” Wray said.