Better Know a Buckeye: Jack Wohlabaugh

By Vico on March 25, 2016 at 10:10 am
Jack Wohlabaugh with family at Ohio State for its 2015 spring game

Our "Better Know a Buckeye" series continues with its seventh installment. We profile Jack Wohlabaugh, an offensive guard/center prospect from Stow, Ohio.

Jack Wohlabaugh

  • Size: 6-3/280
  • Position: OG
  • (Hometown) School: Stow, OH (Walsh Jesuit)
  • 247 Composite: ★★★
  • National Ranking: 438
  • Position Ranking: 20 (OG)
  • State Ranking: 17 (OH)

Longtime Ohio State fans, even just fans of football from Northeast Ohio, may take a keen interesting Wohlabaugh's career at Ohio State. He's the son of Dave Wohlabaugh, a former Syracuse football player and nine-year NFL veteran whose seven-year contract with the expansion Browns in 1999 made him the highest paid center in NFL history to that point. 

He's also just the fourth player to sign with Ohio State from the Walsh Jesuit program, and the first since Pat O'Neill signed with the Buckeyes in 1999. Ohio State fans know of Walsh Jesuit for the first player to sign with the Buckeyes from that school. Mike Vrabel earned that distinction when he signed with the Buckeyes in 1993.

I retell Wohlabaugh's recruitment below and detail the reasons for committing to Ohio State. Thereafter, I provide a scouting report for an offensive lineman prospect who could play either center or guard. I conclude with a projection of a possible redshirt in 2016 and some highlight film for the reader to watch at the end of the feature.


Wohlabaugh earned several offers during his junior season, of which Cincinnati and Purdue were arguably the most prominent. Our review of his recruitment begins in February of last year when Wohlabaugh started to expand his usual offer sheet from the Midwest. Boston College and Kentucky offered on the same day that month.

Boston College's offer was an exciting one for Wohlabaugh. His father is from New York and played for Syracuse when both Syracause and Boston College played in the former Big East. Jack himself was born in Massachusetts when his father was playing for the Patriots. The prospect of playing for Boston College excited Wohlabaugh more than it would a typical prospect from Ohio.

Wohlabaugh had already penciled a visit to Cincinnati on Feb. 14 when he decided to visit Ohio State's program for the first time on his way back. He had a rave review of the visit even if almost the entire coaching staff was on vacation. Mark Pantoni gave him a one-on-one tour in the coaching staff's absence. Ed Warinner had been in regular contact anyway.

He took a few visits in the following weeks, including a stop at Penn State. Michigan, however, changed the trajectory of his recruitment when it extended a scholarship offer on March 21. Wohlabaugh expressed excitement about meeting Harbaugh and getting a scholarship offer from the Wolverines on the same trip. How could he not? However, Wohlabaugh did not immediately jump at the chance to become a Wolverine.

He did immediately jump at the chance to become a Buckeye when Ohio State made a similar move on April 18.


Wohlabaugh had been in regular contact with Ohio State's coaching staff and felt he was inching closer to an offer. He got it when he visited Ohio State again on April 18, his third visit to the program. He immediately accepted it.

Wohlabaugh cited the usual factors that draw an in-state prospect to Ohio State, though it's worth reiterating Wohlabaugh is not your typical in-state prospect. He's a transplant from the Northeast, albeit one who lived almost his entire life in the Buckeye State. Distance from home and the program's marquee status made Ohio State too good to eschew on the spot.

"It's just the perfect fit for me... Ohio State provides a setting that I think I can thrive in; on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. I've known since the first time I visited that is where I need to be, so when the time came I knew exactly what I would do. It's a dream come true to finally be a Buckeye, and it's still surreal to me, it's just starting to set in."

Wohlabaugh chose Ohio State over Michigan, though held other offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Minnesota, and Purdue.


Recruiting services evaluate Wohlabaugh as an offensive guard though Ohio State analysts speak of him as someone the coaches want as a future center. Wohlabaugh himself said the coaches want him as a center at Walsh Jesuit's National Signing Day ceremony.

There's a lot to like in Wohlabaugh's film though he's only been playing on the offensive line since his sophomore year. I particularly like his footwork. He's nimble on his feet and does well to get to the second level. I think the years he spent playing ice hockey have helped him toward that end. Wohlabaugh has great balance, knee-bend, and an awareness of keeping his arm movements and legs in unison.

Wohlabaugh attacks well and has a great first punch even if his lower body is his greatest attribute. His first punch is about as a good as it gets for a major college prospect. He pulls well in run-blocking too. These things bode well for a run-blocking center at the collegiate level.


Wohlabaugh may be a better center than an offensive guard. His frame is a big reason for that. Wohlabaugh is "slender" for a prospect that tips scales at 280 pounds in a 6-foot-3 frame. He could conceivably add to that in Mickey Marotti's program, but it's unlikely he could play at 300 pounds. 

He has Jacoby Boren's frame, for all intents and purposes. He has a solid frame for a center but would be an undersized offensive guard.

Wohlabaugh has good balance and good footwork but is not an overpowering athlete. He is unlikely to win athleticism drills among offensive linemen. He's not particularly strong either. He may struggle more than a typical interior offensive lineman against a defense with an elite nose tackle. He could still become a starting center for Ohio State but it may mean that's really where he belongs. He may not crack the two-deep at guard.


Pat Elflein will be Ohio State's starting center in 2016. Brady Taylor is his projected backup at the position. Other players with eligibility to burn could be an emergency fill-in if both fall to injury. I think this amounts to a redshirt for Wohlabaugh in 2016.



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