LIBERTY TOWNSHIP – Austin Siereveld officially made up his mind on April 25, but the world had to wait until Wednesday to learn the four-star 2023 Ohio offensive lineman’s choice.
Following a long and thorough recruiting process, Siereveld felt a calling to stay home and play for the team he grew up rooting for. When he was younger, Siereveld planned his Saturdays around watching Ohio State games. He’ll continue to have his weekend plans influenced by OSU games in college, only now he’ll be suiting up for the scarlet and gray after the 6-foot-5, 315-pound prospect gave the Buckeyes his commitment on Wednesday in the gymnasium of Lakota East High School.
“It was just a dream school ever since I was a little kid,” Siereveld said. “When I got the offer, I wanted to hop on it right away. But I waited it out and made the right decision.”
Sitting alongside his family behind a table with three hats representing a final three of Notre Dame, Ohio State and Alabama, Siereveld reached to his left and grabbed the Buckeyes hat, signaling his school choice and sending the plethora of gathered Lakota East students in attendance into a frenzy.
“It was amazing having the whole school behind me and supporting my decision,” Siereveld said.
Austin Siereveld commits to Ohio State. pic.twitter.com/7vXb2ccrxf— Garrick Hodge (@Garrick_Hodge) May 4, 2022
Siereveld called Ohio State offensive line coach Justin Frye two days after he made his mind up, on April 27, to inform him of his decision.
“He was the only coach that told me he wanted to coach me,” Siereveld said of Frye. “It means to me that he really wants to coach me up and teach me everything about the game.”
He waited two more days after telling Frye to call Ryan Day with news of his decision, because the Ohio State head coach was busy supporting Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson at the NFL draft.
With Siereveld’s commitment, Ohio State has landed the top three offensive line prospects in Ohio with Joshua Padilla and Luke Montgomery also on board. Padilla and Montgomery each made last-minute recruiting pitches to Siereveld on social media to join them at Ohio State, although Siereveld didn’t tip either off what his college decision would be until Wednesday. No one close to Siereveld was too surprised he decided to stay home, though.
“I think it's great,” Lakota East head coach Rick Haynes said of Siereveld’s decision. “I mean, being an Ohio kid, I think he's been a Buckeye fan for a long time. You know, I've coached a lot of years, and I've sent two other linemen to Ohio State, he is the best one I've had.”
Although OSU held a special place in his heart throughout his life, Siereveld approached his recruitment with an open mind. Although he was tempted to jump on the Ohio State offer immediately when it came on Oct. 30, Siereveld continued to give serious consideration to other schools. He continued to take other visits to other schools that piqued his interest all the way through the end of April, until he finally decided he was ready to become a Buckeye.
“It was very important because these are the next four years of my life,” Siereveld said of having a thorough recruiting process. “I have to make the best of the opportunity that I can.”
While Haynes and others close to Siereveld may have seen the in-state offensive lineman’s potential, the Lakota East product was a relatively late bloomer in regards to being viewed as a high-profile recruit. In late October, Siereveld was an unranked recruit with only two offers. But once he picked up offers from Michigan State then Ohio State, more and more offers followed until he received 17 Division I scholarship opportunities in total.
“I wasn't surprised, because really, just takes one school to offer him and then they all just jump on the bandwagon,” Haynes said. “I knew from the time he came on campus, he was going to be special. And so this is just a culmination of a lot of hard work from Austin.”
Siereveld credits his recruiting breakout to Lakota East’s run-heavy scheme that enabled him to showcase his physicality.
“It was validating how much I worked and my effort,” Siereveld said. “It was very cool, not a lot of people can do it.”
While Siereveld plays both tackle and guard for Lakota East, he’ll be either a guard or center at the collegiate level.
Haynes envisions his pupil having a successful college career.
“They're getting the complete package,” Haynes said of Ohio State. “He'll be a great student for them. He'll be a great ambassador for the program. He’ll be great out in the community, and obviously, he'll be great on the field.
“I just think it's really rare to see somebody that big, who's that nimble and can move the way he does. He's very physical. I think they’re getting a very good player.”