Q&A: Joshua Padilla Focused on Senior Year at Wayne, Plans to Enroll Early and Will Play Center at Ohio State

By Garrick Hodge on August 14, 2022 at 10:10 am
Joshua Padilla

Last November, four-star Ohio offensive lineman Joshua Padilla became Ohio State's second commitment in the 2023 class.

Now entering his senior season, the 6-foot-4, 265-pound offensive lineman believes he has improved himself as a player even more and has his eyes set on helping Wayne High School capture a state championship.  

Padilla will be Wayne's starter at right tackle this season, but will transition to center when he arrives on OSU’s campus. He plans to enroll early and will not wrestle this winter despite making the state finals in that sport last year. 

Eleven Warriors caught up with Padilla on Saturday, less than a week before he and Wayne open the season against Fairfield on Thursday, and got his thoughts on Ohio State's current class, his friendship with Luke Montgomery, new Ohio State offensive line coach Justin Frye and more. 

This interview has been slightly edited for length and clarity. 

Q: How are your preparations going for your senior year?

Joshua Padilla: We’re doing pretty well. We’ve had two scrimmages the last few weeks. In our last scrimmage, I felt like we were better than our first one. I thought we dominated the entire time, so I think we’ll be pretty good. 

Q: Your last scrimmage was against fellow Ohio State offensive line commit Luke Montgomery and Findlay. Did you get to line up against your future teammate? 

Padilla: It was fun scrimmaging them, but I didn’t get to go against Luke. He’s only playing offense this year. But it was fun going against him and seeing what his team has to offer. 

Q: You guys took a photo together after the scrimmage, how often do you guys talk to each other? 

Padilla: I talk to Luke all the time. I probably talk to him the most out of any commit. 

Q: Who won the scrimmage? 

Padilla: We won 24-0 heading into halftime. We only played two quarters, then our No. 2’s came in the second half and played. 

Q: Did you give him a hard time about beating Findlay in the scrimmage? 

Padilla: Nah, not really. I’m going to tell him what I think his team needs to work on and stuff like that, though.

Q: You, Austin Sierveld and Luke all attended a recruiting camp together and got to have a private workout with Justin Frye in June. What was that experience like? 

Padilla: It was good seeing the drills that coach Frye does every day and understanding how it will help them in situations. That’s what he tries to teach in his drills. I feel like I’ve used those drills this year for some of the plays I do and stuff like that. 

Q: What’s the biggest aspect of your game that you think he’s helped you improve?

Padilla: I think my zone steps. He said I need to work on my second zone step. Earlier this year in the summer when I worked with him, my second foot, I would be late before I strike. So he told me to work on that. All throughout August and once scrimmages came up, I felt like I pinpointed that aspect and did really well fixing it. 

Q: You committed when Greg Studrawa was still offensive line coach. How curious were you to see what Frye was like after his hiring? 

Padilla: Right away I watched interviews of his online. I saw instantly that he was a funny guy. I watched a video of him rapping at UCLA. So I instantly knew he was going to be a funny guy and down-to-earth person. I knew right away, ‘Yeah, this is going to be my coach.’ 

Q: How often are you and Frye in communication with each other? 

Padilla: I probably talk to coach Frye two to three times a week. He just checks up on me and sees how I’m doing. Things like that. 

Q: Ohio State’s 2023 recruiting class now includes seven in-state players following Arvell Reese’s commitment. How much pride do you take that Ohio State is prioritizing recruiting the best players in Ohio? 

Padilla: It’s a great thing to have. Ohio kids going to Ohio State is always going to happen and that’s never going to change.  

Q: While you’re playing right tackle for Wayne currently, have you been able to get any reps at center to help prep you for college? 

Padilla: I played center at some camps that I went to. I’m also practicing with our center every day here and just practicing our snaps. 

Q: Is it weird getting used to shotgun snaps? 

Padilla: The snapping part really isn’t that bad. I think it’ll just be like processing everything at a different position, that will be an adjustment that I have to make. Playing center, I won’t take as big of steps as I do playing tackle, so that’ll be something I have to learn, too. 

Q: Have you had a chance to ask Luke Wypler for advice on playing center? 

Padilla: On my official visit in June I got to talk to him a little bit. I got to see what he does to prepare for games and stuff like that. He told me how he stays focused, avoids mistakes and tries to fix as many as he can. 

Q: I know Luke Montgomery is a guy that’s a big peer recruiter on social media. How much are you involved with peer recruiting for other targets Ohio State is going after? 

Padilla: I’ll just text them usually and tell them that ‘This is the place to come. There’s no place like Ohio State. The culture and the brotherhood here is different than every school in the nation.’ I say all that stuff to them.

Q: Will you be at the Notre Dame game? 

Padilla: Yes sir. I should be at every home game. 

Q: How excited are you for the Notre Dame game and what kind of atmosphere do you think that’s going to be? 

Padilla: I’m pumped up for it. I think the atmosphere is going to be crazy. The defense they have this year, when I got to sit in on the meetings and see a little bit, I was like ‘Holy cow.’ I was blown away by how good they actually are and how much they’ve improved from last year. The amount they’ve improved is really crazy.

Q: What’s the biggest thing you want to accomplish this year before you head to Ohio State? 

Padilla: At Wayne, I want to win a state championship. That’s been my goal I’ve since I’ve been here. Growing up you were always watching Wayne in the state semis. I’ve always wanted to be in the state finals. 

Q: Since you’re enrolling early at Ohio State, you won’t get to wrestle this year. Do you think you’ll miss it? 

Padilla: I actually won’t miss it that much. I like wrestling, but football is where my love for sports comes from. 

Q: What advantage do you think you’re going to get from enrolling in January? 

Padilla: I think getting in the strength program earlier will help a lot. I think I’ll be able to learn more plays in the spring too so I have them down come August. It’ll help prepare me for fall camp. 

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