Justin Frye added two key pieces to his offense line from one family.
The Buckeyes landed the commitments of in-state offensive linemen and twin brothers Devontae and Deontae Armstrong on Monday, giving OSU six commitments in the 2024 class.
BM!!!! Home whos next?!? https://t.co/1efhi88W2z— Deontae Armstrong (@DeonArmstrong30) March 27, 2023
BREAKING: Four-Star OT Devontae Armstrong has Committed to Ohio State!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) March 27, 2023
The 66 292 OT from Lakewood, OH chose the Buckeyes over Michigan, UGA, & Penn State.
He joins his twin brother, Deontae, in Ohio States Top 5 Class in the 2024 Team Rankings https://t.co/FT2wIDo9vS pic.twitter.com/iLFUyMO23r
The commitment comes two days after the twins visited OSU for a spring scrimmage, and there's been no shortage of other visits to Columbus from the St. Edward products over the past year.
"What made us decide that we were ready to commit is because it all just made sense, it was the right fit and we saw everything we needed to see and absolutely love it there," Deontae Armstrong told Eleven Warriors ahead of his commitment. "It just felt like home to me, my brother and my family."
"Heading into Sunday’s visit, we have in total been to Ohio State 4-5 other times so the coaching staff really made it clear to us that anything that our family and I wanted to see whether it be academics or football, then they would provide those things for us to see on this visit," Devontae told Eleven Warriors before their commitment. "Each time we visited Ohio State they were consistent in welcoming us each time and getting all of our questions answered.
"My favorite moment of (Saturday), and the whole recruiting process is when at the end of the visit in coach Day’s office after practice my brother and I told him we have seen enough and that we’d like to commit to Ohio State today. He jumped up with a big smile and hugged us and ran to get coach Frye. It was just an overall surreal experience."
After impressive junior seasons, both Armstrong brothers received their offer on the same day, Jan. 13. Frye offered both brothers at the same time, so it's only natural they made their college decisions together as well.
The Deontae Armstrong File
- Class: 2024
- Size: 6-7/280
- Pos: OT
- School: St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: #313 (#25 OT)
“It was super exciting when coach said it,” Deontae said after getting the offer. “It was surreal because of the relationship we built. There was a lot that went into it, so when I got the offer I was really excited. (Devontae and I) just kind of looked at each other and just smiled."
The Armstrong brothers are the third and fourth commitments of OSU's 2024 offensive line corps, joining four-star offensive tackle Ian Moore and three-star offensive lineman Marc Nave. Including Nave and Garrett Stover, the Buckeyes now have four in-state commitments in the class of 2024.
"I’ve got to know (Marc and Ian) very well and talked to them about how it was after they committed, what their thoughts were about staff," Deontae said. "I definitely got an inside scoop from them during the recruiting process and I can’t wait to get to work with them.
"I’ve met a lot of top recruits during the recruiting trail, whether it be from visits, prospects I faced during the season, or guys from camps. The day after I committed. I already started recruiting and I hope to help bring in the best recruiting class in college football."
With four of the six commits in Ohio State's 2024 class being offensive linemen, it's fair to say Frye is off to the fastest start of any OSU coach in the current cycle. But the Buckeyes aren't done pursuing players in the trenches.
OSU has hit the minimum number of offensive line targets it wants to bring in for the 2024 class, but the Buckeyes could take up to six players if premier prospects want to come to Columbus. Several of those possibilities include Jordan Seaton, Brandon Baker, Guerby Lambert, Daniel Calhoun, Nathan Roy and Max Anderson. Seaton is arguably the Buckeyes' top remaining offensive line target and the Buckeyes remain in good position with the Washington D.C. product.
Both brothers have always been each other's biggest support system and each other's biggest critics, and they'll both bring their nastiness on the field to OSU's offensive line room.
“We’re just always hard on each other,” Devontae said in June. “As far as grades, just anything on the court or field, we’re just always at it, trash-talking to each other.”
Both of the Armstrong brothers grew up big Buckeye fans, and both will live out their dreams of donning the scarlet and gray.
"Playing for the Buckeyes has definitely been a dream," Deontae said. "As a kid watching them it almost seems like an unattainable goal to have, and now that that is a reality is amazing."
"We’ve grown up watching Ohio State since the day we were born, always seeing them on TV it really was just a dream come true to actually be getting recruited by Ohio State and when coach Frye came to our school in January and offered my brother and I, we just looked at each other and smiled," Devontae said.
The Armstrongs picked OSU over the likes of Kentucky, Bowling Green, Akron, Boston College, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa State, Kent State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Toledo, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
"It would be pretty nice playing with my brother,” Deontae said in June.
A year from now, both brothers will continue being teammates on the gridiron, only at the collegiate level. The opportunity to play for Frye was a big factor in both of their decisions.
"What makes me want to play for coach Frye is the way he coaches, I love it," Deontae said. "I know it’s going to push me to be the best player I can be, and I love the tough love aspect he has, I always watch how he interacts with his players off the field and I can tell he has a great relationship with them and they like him not only as a coach but as a person."
Armstrongs could become key pieces of Ohio State's offensive line
In their prep careers at St. Edward, the Armstrong brothers have had plenty of team success with a combined 30-2 record the past two seasons culminating in back-to-back state championships. The 6-foot-7, 280-pound Deontae serves as the Eagles’ right tackle and will likely continue playing offensive tackle at the next level.
The Devontae Armstrong File
- Class: 2024
- Size: 6-6/288
- Pos: OL
- School: St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: #353 (#23 IOL)
“I’d say quickness and athleticism,” Deontae said of his best on-field attribute. “Also using that athleticism and being strong. Being more of a lean offensive tackle I think it’s a better fit for me going against quicker defensive ends that other offensive tackles might not be able to block because of how quick they are.”
Meanwhile, the 6-foot-6, 288-pound Devontae is St. Edward's left guard and is likely to be an interior offensive lineman in college.
Devontae has proven to be a standout run blocker, driving interior defensive linemen more than 10 yards downfield occasionally and opening holes for his running backs. He also has quick hands and the footwork needed to thrive as a pass blocker.
"Coach Frye really likes my athleticism and where my body is at right now, he sees me as more of an inside offensive lineman but he likes that I could be able to play both inside at guard and outside as a tackle," Devontae said.
Both have seen their recruiting stock rise within the last few months, as the pair went from three-star prospects to four-star talents in 247Sports' composite rankings. Deontae is considered the 313th-best player and the 25th-rated offensive tackle nationally, while Devontae is considered the 353rd-best player and the 23rd-ranked interior offensive lineman.
The Armstrongs will head to college with an already solid frame, but should be ready to contribute to the Buckeyes within two to three years of growing in the strength and conditioning program and learning Frye's blocking schemes.