Marc Nave Jr. has been dreaming of this moment since he was seven years old.
At the Nave househould, there's photographic evidence of Marc donning a Braxton Miller jersey, hoping to one day play for the team he grew up rooting for himself.
His dream came true Wednesday, as Nave pulled the trigger and committed to Ohio State one day after he took a visit to campus for the Buckeyes' first spring practice. He became their fourth commit in the 2024 class. Nave was offered by offensive line coach Justin Frye on Jan. 31, and from there, it was only a matter of time before the 6-foot-5, 315-pound prospect committed to OSU, as Nave freely admitted the Buckeyes were at the top of his list.
Thank you God. #Gobucks pic.twitter.com/4df3FLCGWi— Marc Nave jr. (@marcnavejr) March 8, 2023
The Nave File
- Class: 2024
- Size: 6-5/315
- Pos: OL
- School: Central Catholic (Toledo, Ohio)
- Composite Rating: ★★★
- Composite Rank: #520 (#28 IOL)
“It felt crazy to me,” Nave told Eleven Warriors in February of receiving his offer. “I still can’t believe it. You know, me just growing up being a Buckeye fan, that was something I dreamed of. Playing for Ohio State in the state that I'm from and, you know, it’s not just one of the biggest programs in Ohio, but in the country. It was surreal to receive an offer from them.”
Nave is considered the 520th-best prospect and the No. 28 interior offensive lineman in 2024, per 247Sports' composite rankings. While he plays all over the line for Central Catholic High School in Toledo, he'll be either a guard or center at Ohio State.
“I know the type of guys that Frye and (Mike) Sollenne are, I know they develop players,” Nave said. “It’s just about me getting around everybody and seeing how they coach and how I’m going to be coached when I get there. I’m really trying to build a firm relationship with those guys because I’m going to be around them all the time. So it’s just important to me to take everything into consideration.”
Nave is Ohio State's second offensive line commitment in the 2024 class, joining four-star offensive tackle Ian Moore. Ohio State doesn't plan to stop there, though, as the Buckeyes could take anywhere between four to six offensive linemen this cycle. Other in-state targets being pursued aggressively by Frye include Devontae and Deontae Armstrong, and OSU also has its eye on a bevy of highly-touted out-of-state targets including Jordan Seaton, Guerby Lambert, Liam Andrews, Brandon Baker, Nathan Roy and Max Anderson.
Nave is the second in-state prospect to commit to Ohio State’s 2024 class, joining safety Garrett Stover.
The last Toledo Central Catholic player on Ohio State's roster before Nave was punter Zack Hoover in 2018 and 2019. Before Hoover, Jayme Thompson (2013) and Dane Sanzenbacher (2007) were the last Central Catholic players on OSU's roster. Nave will be the seventh overall Central Catholic player to play for Ohio State.
Nave picked Ohio State over offers from Akron, Auburn, Boston College, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Duke, Indiana, Kent State, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami (OH), Missouri, Pittsburgh and Toledo.
Nave brings stout frame, big potential to Buckeyes
The Toledo prospect was a key reason Central Catholic turned in a 16-1 record last season and won an Ohio Division II state championship. He primarily played right guard but also lined up at tackle and center, allowing zero sacks last season. His frame at 6-foot-5, 315-pounds likely means he'll be a guard or center with Ohio State. Should Frye want him to play center, Nave is already accustomed to snapping in shotgun formations, so he wouldn’t necessarily have an adjustment period on that front.
Nave will have to add quickness and strength upon arriving at college and he's likely a few years away from seeing the field, but if developed correctly, he offers high upside as a future contributor up front.
“Frye was just saying I’m really quick off the line,” Nave said of what qualities OSU's coach appreciated in him. “I keep my feet moving on contact. A lot of guys when they first make that initial contact, they’ll stop their feet, and it’s like a shield of strength so when someone hits them, they’ll stop. I play the game very aggressively. I’m a nasty type of player.”
Getting developed isn't anything new for the newest Buckeye, as Nave's progression from his sophomore to junior year is the reason he landed an OSU offer in the first place. Nave dropped from 360 pounds to 315 in an offseason and was much quicker off the line as a result.
“I did strength training and cardio,” Nave said of his workout program. “It was a regimen that I worked out with my coaches.”
Nave has the potential to turn into a fan favorite with his down-to-earth personality and relentless work ethic. But Buckeye fans in general were part of the reason he committed to OSU.
“Probably the fan base,” Nave said when asked what’s the most appealing thing about potentially playing for Ohio State. “The amount of fans that travel to away games and coming to support all the time is crazy to me. When I went to go watch (the Indiana) game, a bunch of fans were super hyped. Just playing in that atmosphere would be surreal to me.”
Now that Nave is in the fold for 2024, it won't be long before he lives out that dream.