Inked: Three-Star Offensive Lineman Grant Schmidt of Sioux Falls, South Dakota is Officially a Buckeye

By Jeremy Birmingham on February 1, 2015 at 11:30 am
Sioux Falls offensive lineman Grant Schmidt

The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their Buckeye careers today as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent. Signing Day is here.

Eleven Warriors would like to officially welcome Grant Schmidt to the Ohio State football program. 

Before an offer from the Buckeyes became a possibility, the Roosevelt High School (Sioux Falls) offensive tackle was working hard to gain attention from anywhere. He visited Minnesota a handful of times, Iowa State a couple of times and Iowa, Nebraska and Washington State between here and there. Minnesota, Iowa State, Washington State, Rutgers, Cincinnati, North Carolina and Utah were among his early offers. Still, there was something that made Schmidt feel he could do the impossible; at least for a kid from South Dakota. You see, no matter what happens in the football career of Grant Schmidt, he can proudly state he's done something no one else in the history of South Dakota has done: he earned a scholarship offer from the Ohio State University. No one. Ever. 

The Schmidt File

  • Size: 6-6/275
  • Position: OL
  • School: Roosevelt (Sioux Falls, SD)
  • 247 Composite Rating: ★★★
  • 247 Composite Rank: 51st (OT)

He knew it was a rarity from the moment the Buckeyes, after months recruiting the 6-foot-6, 280-pounder, offered him.

"Of course," Schmidt said about the Buckeye offering have unique significance. "No one from South Dakota has ever been offered by Ohio State."

As a three-star prospect from a place that's rarely — if ever — recruited, Schmidt's offer from the Buckeyes was a surprise to many, but not to him. 

"(Ohio State) has been recruiting me for around four months," he said of the Buckeyes' interest. "(Ohio State offensive line coach Ed) Warinner came to evaluate me and watch me do offensive line stuff, and I knew he'd be impressed. I think (the offer) surprised everyone except for me."

As the offer from Ohio State came, it seemed that Schmidt took almost no time before deciding, but in truth there was a month between offer and commitment. In that time, Schmidt bounced around the idea that a quick commitment could happen, but he needed to see Columbus, and Ohio State, first. He arrived on campus on June 8th, 2014 for the first time and it didn't take long for him to realize it was the place for him. He committed the next day, hours after participating in one of Ohio State's one-day camps. The Buckeyes were as impressed by him as he was with them.

"(My entire visit) has been great!," Schmidt told Eleven Warriors in June. "I love it (at Ohio State.) Coach Warinner is an amazing coach and I loved every minute of being coached by him yesterday. The trip was definitely worth it. I loved meeting with the different Coach Warinner and Coach Meyer were very impressed by my testing and the drills. I went 4.7 in the pro-agility, 9-feet-4 inches in the broad jump and I recorded a 29-inch vertical. I also had a very good sessions of drills and one-on-ones."

At the end of his visit, Schmidt wrapped it up succinctly.

"It's everything about Ohio State," he said. "The stadium, the overall feeling of being here is what sets it apart from other places."

What sets Schmidt apart is his athleticism for a player of his size. His broad jump at Ohio State on June 9th would have been good for third among all offensive the 2014 NFL Draft combine. When he committed to Ohio State, we asked a trusted source inside the Buckeyes' camp who they would compare Schmidt to.

"He's very athletic, he's explosive," the source told 11W. "He's smart, he's a hard worker and is very coachable. (He has) huge upside. He reminds me of (former Buckeye Jack) Mewhort or Taylor Decker. Grant is more explosive than both of them."

After his commitment, Schmidt shut down his recruitment 100-percent. He made no other visits, nor entertained any other offers. One of the very few prospects these days to avoid the glare and spotlight of social media. Instead, Schmidt prepared himself for his final season of high school football and worked diligently to get his school in order so that he could enroll at Ohio State early. That decision was an easy one for the country's 51st-ranked offensive tackle.

"I play football and the rest takes care of itself," he said of the hoopla around recruiting and life as a teenager today. "I'm pretty coachable, I just do what I am told and no problems arise. I'm looking for a school that gives me the chance to play early, where I can be developed as a player and where I am around (people with) the right attitude."

Following his verbal, Schmidt did not return to Ohio State until November 29th when the Buckeyes hosted Michigan. That visit was an unofficial trip; two weeks later he was back on campus for his official visit. Schmidt told the Eleven Warriors community that he was preparing for a big adjustment. 

"I anticipate that I will have a lot of challenges to overcome once I am on campus, and a lot of them I probably have no idea what they are yet," Schmidt said. "One major area I can think of is time-management, which I think is hard for any student-athlete because as an athlete there's always something we have to do in class, the weight room or on the field. Time management is a really important aspect of being successful."

Before he headed to Columbus, Schmidt was invited to participate at the Semper-Fidelis All-American Game. Although he injured his leg the week of the game in practice, which prevented him from playing, Schmidt was one of four then Buckeyes in attendance (Carlton Davis no longer a member of the Buckeyes' recruiting class). He went there to represent not only himself and the Buckeyes, but the state of South Dakota.

"I just want to prove that good football players come from South Dakota too and that you don't have to come from California, Texas, or Florida to be a good football player," Schmidt told "I'm really excited to get the chance to show everybody."

Schmidt arrived at Ohio State two days before the Buckeyes won the eighth national championship in school history as one of four early enrollees from his class. His adjustment has been better than he imagined it'd be.

"Sioux Falls and Columbus aren't that different, but the girls are awesome here (laughs) – there's some tall women. It's kind of weird living with random people," the 6-foot-5, 280-pound Schmidt said. "But they both absolutely love football, one of them had a ticket to the game, I kind of watched the game with them and with football guys. I got tear-gassed on Monday night, just walking back to my dorm, I wasn't doing anything bad (laughs)."

Elite and Enrolled: Ohio State's Four Early Enrollees Adjust 

Grant Schmidt is just playing football. The rest will take care of itself.

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