If you saw Deontae and Devontae Armstrong at Ohio State’s final high school football camp of the year on Tuesday, you may have thought you were seeing double.
The Armstrongs are identical twins. They’re both offensive linemen at St. Edward High School. Even their recruitments have been identical, as they both hold offers from the same 11 schools: Akron, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kent State, Kentucky, Miami (Ohio), Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Toledo.
They also both share a love of Ohio State, which is why they were both in Columbus on Tuesday trying to impress and learn from Justin Frye and the rest of Ohio State’s coaching staff.
“Being a Buckeye fan all my life, I mean, looking at it from the outside in and now from the inside out with working with the coaches, talking to Ryan Day, it means even more, knowing the coaches and the coaching staff,” Deontae Armstrong said after Tuesday’s camp.
Devontae Armstrong expressed a similar sentiment about the Buckeyes: “Just watching Ohio State just all our life, actually meeting the coaches and establishing a relationship with the coaches is just surreal to me.”
There are some slight differences between the two Armstrongs. Deontae, who’s a bit taller and leaner at 6-foot-7 and 275 pounds, plays right tackle for St. Edward. Devontae, who’s slightly shorter and thicker at 6-foot-5 1/2 and 280 pounds, plays left guard for the Eagles. Devontae says he is a bit quieter than Deontae, who says he is a bit more outgoing.
As prospects, though, they’ve attended all of the same camps and been recruited by all of the same schools. And they are enjoying going through the recruiting process together.
“It's nice,” Deontae said. “Competing one against another, helping each other out. Maybe when I get something, he doesn't. I mean, it's very good.”
As you might expect, the two brothers say they compete against each other in everything, whether they’re on the football field or the basketball court, in the classroom or even running up the stairs in their house.
“We’re just always hard on each other,” Devontae said. “As far as grades, just anything on the court or field, we’re just always at it, trash-talking to each other.”
They believe that competition makes each other better.
“We could always correct each other,” Devontae said. “Room for improvement. If we see something, we're able to kind of teach that movement, excel together.”
Even though they’ve been offered by all of the same schools so far, the Armstrongs say they’re not dead-set on attending the same college. Ultimately, it’s possible a school could choose to offer one and not the other, and if the two brothers end up preferring different schools, they’ll go in separate directions.
They’d be happy if it works out for them to play together, though.
“Maybe he sees something in a school that I don't, so I'm not going to compromise and go to a school he goes to, but it would be pretty nice playing with my brother,” Deontae said.
While the Armstrongs haven’t received offers from Ohio State yet, they’ll remain on the Buckeyes’ radar considering their size, athleticism, Power 5 offers and in-state roots. And they say they’ve built good relationships with Frye, who has made multiple trips to St. Edward since becoming Ohio State’s offensive line coach to see them as well as fellow 2024 offensive lineman Ben Roebuck, a four-star prospect with 19 offers of his own.
“Seeing him pop up in the weight room at St. Eds, him watching me lift and watching us run, it means a lot,” Deontae said. “It's kind of like a get to know him before we had this hands-on coaching that we had here at the camp. So I mean, that's all a relationship-builder. I grew pretty strong with Coach Frye and our relationship.”
The Armstrong twins have also camped at Cincinnati, Michigan State and Kent State this month and will be camping at Pittsburgh this weekend. They’re also planning to camp at Penn State on July 29. With two more years of high school still to go, they say their recruitments remain wide open.
“Just taking it slow, just taking it all in, making sure we make the right choice, really,” Devontae said. “Because obviously, it's a really important choice.”
If Ohio State eventually offers either or both of them, the Buckeyes are sure to become a significant contender in their recruitments. But even though they haven’t gotten offers from Ohio State yet, they feel fortunate to be getting all the interest that they are.
“It's been nice,” Deontae said. “A lot of camps, talking to college coaches, a lot of calls, a lot of relationships being built.”
Devontae described it as “really crazy” to be getting offers from Power 5 schools and interest from others alongside his brother.
“Really awesome experience,” Devontae said.