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?
Rated as the No. 27 offensive tackle in the 2020 class, Toutant had been committed to Penn State since November and was offered by Ohio State in January.
Let's take a look at how his commitment influences Ohio State's 2020 recruiting class.
On the Field
Toutant, like recent offensive line commitments Dawand Jones and Trey Leroux, is a big body at 6-foot-7, 320 pounds. But Toutant is something more than just that. The No. 9 Michigan recruit is athletic for his size and has good footwork.
Toutant has played right tackle primarily for De La Salle and faced good competition at the high school level, including Michigan defensive end commit Braiden McGregor.
At the Under Armour All-America Camp in Cincinnati in April, Toutant stood out as the best offensive lineman at the event – an event Ohio State commits Leroux and Jakob James attended as well. He moved quickly, carried his weight the best of anyone in attendance and was a brick wall against very good local defensive linemen.
Toutant adds to what will likely be one of the Big Ten’s largest offensive lines in the near future, but he is also the most polished among the incomers.
In the Class
Ohio State, which has had depth issues at the line, has now landed five offensive line commitments for the class of 2020.
Excluding No. 1 offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. and No. 1 center Luke Wypler, the Buckeyes haven’t exactly hit on the offensive line prospects they would typically be expected to hit on. Recruits like Turner Corcoran, Zak Zinter, John Young and Justin Rogers are all just recent commitments away from Ohio State, and it currently seems like Michael Carmody and Reece Atteberry could be leaning toward Notre Dame.
Toutant, though not rated highly within the class, was a coveted lineman before and after he committed to Penn State. His combination of size and athleticism make him a force already, but once he adds more strength, which will likely take some time, Toutant can be an effective offensive lineman in the Big Ten.
Toutant’s commitment also means maybe some relenting on Ohio State’s part in the offensive line recruiting game. Between the freshman class and the incoming 2020 class, Ohio State will have 12 offensive linemen on scholarship. The Buckeyes could potentially add one more in the class, and that could be anyone from Atteberry to Carmody to Josh Fryar.
Off the Field
Toutant’s flipped commitment is a direct steal from one of Ohio State’s recruiting rivals within the conference. That’s huge for a first-year head coach like Ryan Day against a coach that has implemented his system as James Franklin has at Penn State.
His flipped commitment is another upset in just a couple weeks, as Julian Fleming’s commitment to Ohio State over Penn State proved to be the upset of the year for the Buckeyes so far.
Penn State hasn’t necessarily been close to Ohio State in the recruiting ranks, but proving to be effective on the recruiting fronts against other top Big Ten programs is exactly what Day could have hoped for entering his first offseason as the head coach.