The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their college careers as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent.
Max Wray was committed to Georgia for nearly a year before he ever received an offer from Ohio State.
Once Wray decommitted from the Bulldogs, however, it didn't take long for him to become all Buckeye.
The Wray File
- Class: 2018
- Size: 6-foot-7, 289 pounds
- Pos: OT
- School: Franklin (TN)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 9 (OT)
A four-star offensive tackle from Franklin, Tennessee, Wray now appears likely to be a key piece of future Buckeyes offensive lines, and his signing could mark the beginning of Ohio State's next great pair of football-playing brothers.
Just three days after Wray ended his nearly year-long commitment to Georgia in March, Ohio State extended scholarship offers to not only Max Wray but his younger brother, Jake Wray, who is a class of 2020 offensive tackle recruit.
The Wray brothers quickly showed interest in becoming Buckeyes, visiting Columbus less than four weeks later.
Max Wray originally planned to wait until May before committing to another school, but he ended up announcing his commitment to Ohio State on April 15, the day of the Buckeyes' game and just one week after making his trip to Columbus.
"Urban Meyer is very persuasive," Wray's father, Sam, told Eleven Warriors.
Max Wray told Eleven Warriors that he accelerated his decision because when he visited Ohio State, "it just felt like home."
"I never thought I was going to leave the SEC, but when I came up to Ohio State and hung out with the players they were all like-minded to myself and all had the same goals as I do," Wray said.
At 6-foot-7, Wray fits the prototype of long offensive tackles that Ohio State has shown a preference in recruiting during the Urban Meyer era. He's already listed at 290 pounds, and he'll have the opportunity to start bulking up in Mickey Marotti's strength program right away, as he plans to enroll early in January.
Wray was looking for a chance to play early in choosing which school he would attend, and choosing Ohio State should give him that chance. Ohio State is set to lose current starting left tackle Jamarco Jones after this season, while the Buckeyes added one offensive tackle (Thayer Munford) in their 2017 recruiting class, which should open a spot for Wray to earn on the depth chart sooner than later.
Max Wray's high school career came to an unusual end in October, when both Wray brothers left the Franklin High School football team due to concerns with the coaching staff after Jake Wray suffered a concussion.
"Max and Jake did not quit the Franklin High Football team," their father said. "This situation arose because we, as a family, became increasingly concerned that the coaching staff has created an environment in which players’ health and safety is not the first priority. We expressed to the school administration our concern that the culture was creating a perverse incentive for players to conceal injuries, including — in particular — concussions."
The Wrays' standing with Ohio State was not affected by their departure from the Rebels, but it did mean a premature end to Max's prep career. Jake and his parents, meanwhile, are moving to Marietta, Georgia, where the younger Wray plans to spend the next two years playing for Marietta High School.
In a November interview in which he fielded questions from members of the Eleven Warriors community, Wray told readers that his biggest inspiration in his life has been his father.
"He's been through so much, but he's come out a great man and a better dad," Wray said.
As Ohio State's potential left tackle of the future, Wray said his favorite all-time Buckeye offensive lineman is Taylor Decker.
"I remember watching him when I first started playing offensive line, and I tried to emulate some of the things he did," Wray said.
Perhaps the biggest question for Wray and his younger brother, though, is whether they can become the next incarnation of Ohio State greats Joey and Nick Bosa, except on the other side of the line of scrimmage, should Jake follow Max to Columbus.
"Man, I hope so," Max said. "Even a comparison to them is incredible."