Ohio 2024 offensive lineman Jake Wheelock had the experience to remember while on his visit during Ohio State’s 77-21 victory last weekend against Toledo.
Wheelock had been to an Ohio State game before, attending contests against Akron and Penn State a season ago, but Saturday stood out the most to the Stebbins High School product.
“It was by far the best gameday experience that I’ve had,” Wheelock told Eleven Warriors of his visit Saturday. “I went there last year, and even compared to that, it was still the best. This visit was amazing. I talked to Luke Montgomery, Joshua Padilla, and some other commits. They were super cool. The actual game was super fun to watch, the O-Line is a bunch of phenomenal players, and I can tell coach Frye has them built mentally tough. It was the perfect experience.”
Wheelock, who has Division I offers from Akron and Toledo, camped with OSU earlier this summer. It was his first chance to build a relationship with first-year Ohio State offensive line coach Justin Frye.
“Coach Frye is awesome. I love coach Frye,” Wheelock said. “I got to talk to him in the recruiting room and a little bit on the field and in the locker room (on my visit). His energy is just so high. I love being around him.
“He’s straight to the point, straight with it, and energetic. Just him explaining a drill will make you want to do that drill. It’s crazy. I love being around him. That camp was by far the best camp I went to. I came away from that camp saying, ‘I learned something today and got better.’ I also had a great day in terms of reps.”
Wheelock’s parents were born and raised in Michigan, which led them to cheer for the Wolverines initially. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound lineman was born in Arkansas and moved to Ohio when he was around two years old. The more he and his family were exposed to the Buckeyes, the more their loyalty to Michigan subsided.
“My family was a team up north fan, although I was never super sold on it,” Wheelock said. “But recently, my family has completely flipped. Ever since we learned about Ohio State, we are huge Ohio State fans now. I know that’s probably something people don’t know, but we completely flipped. We love Ohio State now. I grew up in Ohio and was around a bunch of Ohio State fans and saw the Buckeyes kill Michigan yearly. I’ve always respected them, so I never wanted to claim either side, but then when I started connecting with (Ohio State) and getting to know them, that’s when I became a true Ohio State fan.”
Wheelock has made no secret that an Ohio State offer is his most coveted out of any school and is determined to earn one from the Buckeyes.
“The absolute world,” Wheelock said of what it would mean to him to get an offer from Ohio State one day. “This whole offseason, I’ve told my coaches and players around me, I work harder and harder every day and play every game to the best of my ability just because that offer is what I strive for. Ohio State is priority number one to me.”
The Dayton resident has spoken with Frye about what needs to happen before he receives his Ohio State offer, and he’s gotten plenty of constructive feedback.
“It sounds like coach Frye is still watching right now. He’s evaluating full games. He’s not just watching highlights. He’s clearly going through all the game film. I think the big thing is now that I’ve had that good camp, what he wants me to really do is perfect myself a little more, be a little bit lower, and a little bit more aggressive. I feel like if I do those little things a bit more, eventually, I will be able to get that offer because it sounds like he does like me.”
Frye has told Wheelock he’s impressed by his footwork positioning and footspeed but would like to see further improvement with his hand technique.
“I think the biggest things I’ve heard (to improve on) is with my hands specifically,” Wheelock said. “Sometimes when I get out on a block, especially a run block, I tend to use pass hands and push them away from me. He wants me to make sure that when I get into a run block to keep my elbows in and finish the block. That’s something I struggled with a lot last year and have really improved this year. If I can keep consistency with that, my film is going to look better, and that’s the play style he’s looking for.”
Wheelock plays left tackle for Stebbins, but Ohio State is recruiting him as either a guard or center at the next level. The Ohio product has other visits planned this fall to other schools but is making no secret about where he’d like to play his college football.
“I really love (Ohio State),” Wheelock said. “I’ve told people time and time again that is the offer to me and I’ll pull the trigger pretty quickly if I can get that offer. It’ll probably be pretty quick once I get it.”
Baker offered by OSU
The Buckeyes have offered another highly-touted offensive tackle prospect in the 2024 class. OSU extended an offer to four-star Mater Dei (Santa Ana, California) standout Brandon Baker on Thursday.
All Glory to God, beyond Blessed To— Brandon Baker (@BrandonBaker73) September 22, 2022
Say I've receive a(n) offer to the
University of Ohio St. ! Thank you@CoachJFrye for believing in my
talents. Thank you my Heavenly
Father. @MDFootball @GregBiggins@BrandonHuffman @adamgorney@ChadSimmons_ pic.twitter.com/sfcvOolhqr
Ohio State has also offered a pair of Baker’s high school teammates, five-star 2025 running back Jordon Davison and five-star 2025 linebacker Nasir Wyatt. Baker has racked up close to 20 Division I offers, including USC, UCLA, Texas, Texas A&M, Arizona, Florida, Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Penn State and Tennessee.
He’s considered the 80th-best prospect and sixth-best offensive tackle per 247Sports’ composite rankings.
Rodgers, Inniss, Tate confirm visits to OSU
Ohio State’s second big recruiting weekend of the year will kick off soon, and 2023 wide receiver commits Brandon Inniss, Carnell Tate and Bryson Rodgers have both confirmed on social media they’ll be in attendance for Ohio State’s Big Ten opener. Tate will be making an official visit for the Iowa game.
I will be in Columbus tomorrow!!— Brandon Inniss (@brandon5star2) September 22, 2022
absolutely can not wait to be in the shoe this saturday. #gobucks— Bryson Rodgers (@IBryson13) September 21, 2022
We back at the crib this weekend !— Carnell Tate (@carnelltate_) September 22, 2022
Ohio State’s fourth wide receiver commit, Noah Rogers, is also expected to make his second trip to Columbus this weekend.