Ohio 2026 OL Will Conroy Says He's Thankful for Ohio State Offer and His Childhood Dream Was to Play in The Shoe and Beat “The Team Up North”

By Garrick Hodge on January 23, 2024 at 11:35 am
Will Conroy

Will Conroy couldn’t stop smiling Saturday night.

The Cleveland 2026 offensive lineman had just been offered by his favorite childhood college team, Ohio State, a few hours earlier and the moment truly began to sink in. 

“I was actually in my hotel room (Saturday night) like ‘Damn,’” Conroy told Eleven Warriors. “I’ve wanted this offer all my life and have wanted to play for the scarlet and gray. I have an opportunity to do that after the offer. Obviously, I’m still looking at other schools, but coming from this state and knowing what the rivalry is all about, a lot of other people may look at this game as just another game to them, but it’s The Game. Growing up that’s something special and if I decide to come here, I’d hope to spread the rivalry because we’re not looking too hot for the past three years.” 

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Conroy has seen his recruitment take off in the past few months, earning offers from the likes of the Buckeyes, Florida, Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Michigan State, Oregon, Purdue and Virginia Tech. But it meant a smidge more when Ryan Day presented an offer himself Saturday.

“I’ve gotten a lot of other offers before, but this one was a little more special,” Conroy said. “Growing up in Ohio, every Ohio kid’s dream is to play in The Shoe and beat the team up north. Being here and them wanting me is truly something special.”

Conroy has been an avid OSU fan since birth. One look at his childhood room could have told you about his allegiances.   

“I actually painted my room scarlet and gray when I was a little kid,” Conroy said of his OSU fandom. “I had like a big FatHead of the Buckeye helmet. I remember my family and I went to an Ohio State vs. Minnesota game in like 2015, we beat them and my mom took a photo and everything like that. That’s when Urban Meyer was coaching and I really wanted to be coached by Urban Meyer. That was probably the first experience I can remember.” 

Conroy took his first visit to OSU as a recruit in September when the Buckeyes thrashed Western Kentucky 63-10. While he and his family had attended games in the stadium as a fan before, it felt a little different going as a prospect. 

“It was an unranked game and you knew they were going to smoke Western Kentucky, but the atmosphere was what surprised me because there were still close to 100,000 people there.”

While OSU certainly sits heavy on Conroy’s heart, he’s trying to approach his recruitment with a level head and put his fandom on the back burner while weighing his future. That said, it still would be hard for him to turn down what the Buckeyes have to offer.

“It’s definitely up there,” Conroy said about where OSU ranks in his recruitment. “I still love a lot of other schools, but I’ll keep coming back here and keep growing the relationship with the coaches. It’s definitely up there.” 

OSU offensive line coach Justin Frye stopped in to see Conroy earlier this month at St. Ignatius, letting him know of the Buckeyes’ interest in him. While on his visit, Frye told Conroy and fellow 2026 in-state offensive line targets Maxwell Riley and Sam Greer how special their cycle could be if they end up playing for the Buckeyes.

“We talked about teaming up with Max and Sam and how good our class could be,” Conroy said. “(Us three) talked about that a little bit, we’re all just realizing how special we can make our class for sure with all of us being from Northeast Ohio. For sure that’s something we talked about.” 

Frye also went over how he’d develop Conroy as both a person and an offensive lineman, which meant a lot to the Cleveland product. While Conroy plays right tackle for St. Ignatius, he’s expected to either be a center or a guard at the next level.

“My (offensive line) coach at St. Ignatius, (former Ohio State center) LeCharles Bentley, he makes us learn all of the positions on the offensive line,” Conroy said. “So I could play any position in college. I could play center, I could play guard, I could play tackle as well, it just comes down to what the team needs.” 

Conroy said he plans on returning to OSU for a spring visit and hopes to come back to campus in the summer as well. He said he’s eyeing a commitment sometime after his junior season but wants to keep all his options open.

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