The Hurry-Up: Josh Padilla Grew Up a Buckeye Fan After Watching Josh Myers, Braxton Miller and Robert Landers, Georgia Now Ranked No. 1 in 2022

By Zack Carpenter on April 18, 2021 at 6:30 pm
Josh Padilla

The Hurry-Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.

Why Padilla grew up a Buckeye fan

Watching Wayne (Huber Heights) High School offensive lineman Josh Padilla at last weekend's Under Armour Camp, it's not hard to see the similarities between him and another former blue-chip interior lineman from Ohio with the same first name.

You can see that Padilla has some of the same qualities that Miamisburg High School's Josh Myers had when he was serving up pancakes for the Vikings as a top-55 recruit and the state of Ohio's No. 1 prospect four years ago. Not saying that Padilla is going to wind up as a borderline five-star talent or that he will wind up being a First Team All-Big Ten performer one day. But you can see some of the same movements and the nasty streak that Myers had as Padilla winning the camp's offensive line Big Man Challenge (aka he won offensive line MVP honors).

Padilla is ranked No. 161 overall, No. 6 at offensive guard and No. 5 in Ohio by 247Sports' 2023 rankings, and he will certainly wind up as a top-100 overall prospect and finish as a top-five (maybe top-three) player in the state rankings. Quite similar to Myers, one of the main players who Padilla says he grew up watching when Myers was in high school and who he always had an admiration for.

Padilla grew up an Ohio State fan, and some of that can be attributed to Myers and a pair of star alums from his own Wayne High School – Braxton Miller and Robert Landers.

"I’ve talked to Robert Landers. He told me last week that I’m gonna be a Buckeye, and I laughed at it," Padilla said last week. "I thought it was pretty funny. I’ve only talked with him a few times.

"It’s been crazy (getting recruited by Ohio State). Growing up, I was watching Braxton Miller, one of the best quarterbacks to come out of Wayne. I was like, ‘holy crap, he’s super good.’ And then my fifth or sixth grade year, I watched Robert Landers. He’s super explosive off the ball and always getting after it. One of the players I really looked up to. I watched Josh Myers his senior year of high school. He’s always been one of my favorite players. Super fast, super explosive, always mauling people and everything."

So when the Buckeyes came calling with an offer in March for the 6-foot-4, 270-pounder (preceded by an Oregon offer and followed by Notre Dame and Penn State offers soon after), it blew the young up-and-comer away.

"It felt super good," Padilla said. "Only as a sophomore, getting an offer from Ohio State is one of the biggest things I’ve ever accomplished in my high school career. My freshman year, I didn’t know if I was gonna get any offers, and then I pushed my work ethic. And then my sophomore year came around and I was just mauling people around. My film was super great, and then coaches over the months really started noticing."

Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and assistant Kennedy Cook are chief among those who took notice, and it was more than enough for an offer even if they believe he still needs some refinement and improvement.

"Coach Stud loves that I just get after it and that I have a great mentality and my dominance on the field," Padilla said. "He said to continue to improve my technique and build myself up as a player. … I feel like I need to improve on my pass sets, not leaning and getting my chest up. That’s one of my big things I need to work on.

"They’ve recruited me as basically an offensive lineman, but I wanna play in college as a guard or center. That’s my preference."

As is the case with most in-state players who get offered by the Buckeyes – especially in the case of a player like Padilla who grew up an Ohio State fan – they have to put their allegiances aside in order to find the best situation for themselves. We can take a look at Blake Miller's recruitment as one of the latest example of that, as Miller's family history with the school is well-known, but he chose to commit to Clemson because it was a better situation for him.

Padilla will have to eventually decide if Columbus and Ohio State's program is the best spot for him and his future career. Fortunately for him, he has plenty of time to make that decision.

OSU targets, commits visit The Shoe

And since we're on the subject of Padilla, he was one of several Ohio State commits and targets who made the trek over to The Shoe to watch the Buckeyes' annual spring game on Saturday.

2022 commits C.J. Hicks, Dasan McCullough and Tegra Tshabola each made the trip, as did 2022 target Delian Bradley and 2023 targets Luke Montgomery and Sonny Styles, plus 2021 signee Jordan Hancock.

Montgomery, in fact, got a chance to catch up with Ohio State's spring game breakout star Jack Sawyer following the game, with Sawyer dapping him up and handing him his gloves afterward. Montgomery, I believe, will wind up in the Buckeyes' 2023 class (possibly as its first commitment) and is going to take on the same role that Sawyer and Hicks did in their respective classes – the in-state Ohio star who builds the class as its top peer recruiter and creates strong relationships statewide and nationwide with the top players in his recruiting cycle.

So you have to love that moment between Sawyer and Montgomery. Felt like a passing-of-the-torch moment.

Dewberry releases top five

While Ohio State's priority offensive tackle, Kiyaunta Goodwin, gave Kentucky the lead in his recruitment on Saturday, another blue-chip top-100 OT has the Buckeyes as a finalist in his own recruitment.

Kam Dewberry, ranked No. 97 overall and No. 9 OT in the 2022 cycle, has Ohio State as a top-five finalist pitted against Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M.

Not a lot of optimism from me that Ohio State will pull Dewberry out of the Lone Star State, where is the No. 20 prospect out of Atascocita High School. But it's apparent that Dewberry has set Columbus as one of his five destinations for an official visit so getting him on campus could go a long way.

Georgia surges ahead of Buckeyes

Georgia hasn't picked up a commitment in the 2022 cycle since March 31, but after rankings updates last week that didn't stop the Bulldogs from surging ahead and overtaking Ohio State for the No. 1 ranking in the 2022 class.

This Buckeye class has a chance to go down as one of the best in school history and may even pass the loaded 2021 group. But there's speculation that Georgia may wind up as having one of Kirby Smart's best all-time recruiting classes this cycle – impressive, if true, after the Bulldogs finished with the recruiting crown in 2020 with a top-15 all-time haul.

Ohio State still holds, as of right now, its highest-ever average player rating at 95.74 points behind a quartet of five-star commits and seven four-star commits.

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