The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their Buckeye careers as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent.
The Buckeyes aren't bringing in a big group of offensive linemen this cycle, but the ones coming to Columbus are some of the best in the country. Five-star guard Wyatt Davis may very well be the best of the bunch.
The Davis File
SIZE: 6-foot-5, 310 pounds
SCHOOL: St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA)
COMPOSITE RANKING: ★★★★★
COMPOSITE RANK: 1 (Guard)
Ohio State was sitting pretty for a while with commitments from then five-star Josh Myers and four-star tackle Jake Moretti. Myers' ultimate position appears to be up in the air a bit and Moretti has since flipped to the in-state Colorado Buffaloes.
Davis was always a name that was known by the Buckeye staff – and likely every other staff in America – but he never seemed to be a realistic option until the summer months.
Alabama, USC, and UCLA had previously been discussed as some potential landing spots for the No. 5 prospect in California, but most prognosticators were leaning toward the Crimson Tide until the Ohio State push really began.
His recruitment started off in the early part of 2015. Oklahoma was one of his first offers and then USC, Missouri, and UCLA all followed suit in February and March. Alabama would also extend an offer and Davis took an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa in January of 2016. Around that time, the talk of him being a Bama lean really started to circulate. He also had plans for an official visit when the Crimson Tide hosted Kentucky this past October, though it never came to fruition.
Davis attended the USC spring game last April, and shortly thereafter is when the Buckeyes came calling. Ohio State was actually a little late to the party as they didn't even extend an offer until last May. Before the offer was on the table, Davis released a top 15 that included schools like Alabama, UCLA, USC, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Stanford.
Thing moved quite quickly as the five-star built a relationship with the Ohio State staff and commits.
— Wavy Dub (@wyattdavis53) June 16, 2016
A bit of a Midwest swing took place in mid-June as Davis traveled east to check out Notre Dame, Michigan, and Ohio State. Following these trips, it became obvious that the visit to Columbus was going to be a turning point in the five-star's recruitment.
After returning to California, the Buckeye drumbeats started to grow. Sometimes it's difficult to read into this because there's always a bit of a "post-visit high," but this one just seemed different. Everyone realized just how big of an impression Ohio State left on him when he promptly scheduled a commitment date.
Wyatt Davis became the 14th commit of the Buckeyes' 2017 class on June 24th of last year. His decision was announced at a ceremony at St. John Bosco. He cited his relationship with the Ohio State staff as one of the determining factors. Urban Meyer has been known to take over certain recruitments for the Buckeyes, and Davis seemed to be another one of those instances as Meyer served as his personal tour guide while on his unofficial visit.
While Davis spent a lot of time at tackle in high school, it appears that he will likely man the interior of the Ohio State offensive line. Still, at 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, he does possess the necessary footwork and athleticism to play tackle if needed. While playing tackle at St. John Bosco it was pretty much always a mismatch as he mauled through the opposition.
The first thing that stands out about Davis when you watch his tape is his pure size and agility. Individuals that big should not be able to move that well, especially when they are moving to the second level of a defense.
With Billy Price sliding over to center, there looks to be an opening at the guard spot opposite Michael Jordan. While Malcolm Pridgeon and Matthew Burrell are likely to be in the two-deep, Davis does have a chance to make an impact as a true freshman. A lot of his potential early playing time may also depend on how the staff elects to use early enrollee Josh Myers, whether it be as a guard or tackle.
Davis participated in Nike's The Opening last summer and did everything he could to solidify himself as the nation's top-ranked guard. He had some fantastic battles with Marvin Wilson and other elite defensive lineman and continued to show off his impressive footwork and athleticism.
When the season ended, Davis went on to play in the Army All-American Bowl and also would bring home a number of different honors. While in San Antonio, he was awarded the the Glenn Davis Army Award. The honor is given annually to the player of the West who best epitomizes the U.S. Army's high standards of excellence in community service, education and athletic excellence.
In mid-January, he was named Mr. Football in the state of California, which is an impressive feat for an offensive lineman.
From the Cal-Hi Sports writeup:
Ranked as a five-star prospect by many recruiting services, Davis is seen as a guard at Ohio State, which is where he’ll play next season. At Bosco, he played everywhere along the front except center and in the second Mater Dei game he was moving from one side to the other. In one memorable play, Davis blocked three players and the video of that play became viral on social media.
This type of success is nothing new for Davis and his family. Wyatt is the grandson of NFL Hall of Fame defensive back Willie Davis of Green Bay Packers fame. His father, Duane Davis, has played many boxing and football-related roles as an actor in television and movies, including roles as Joe Louis, Buster Douglas and others.
As Ohio State went through some coaching changes, there were a handful of rumors about Davis visiting elsewhere. Ed Warinner and the Buckeyes parted ways as he headed to Minnesota. Davis stayed in contact with Greg Studrawa, however, and learned that he absolutely would still be Ohio State's offensive line coach.
Most of those visit rumors circulated around Washington and USC, but Davis took to Twitter to put an end to any speculation.
All the rumors about me not going to Ohio State are crazy I'm 100% a Buckeye!
— Wavy Dub (@wyattdavis53) January 26, 2017
The LA Times had a fantastic interview with the five-star this week in which they asked why he felt the need to leave California for Ohio. He talked about his desire to check out the cold weather and also discussed some of the pressures to stay home.
But last time I heard they were going to install a beach in the weight room, you know, just for me. Just so I could look out there and act like I’m in California. Via
It will be interesting to see exactly how Davis fits into Ohio State's 2017 plans. We aren't anticipating a redshirt, but that of course will depend on how his conditioning goes and how quickly he picks up on the new blocking schemes.
His size, versatility, and athleticism is something Buckeye fans should be excited about for the next several years. Davis also seems to have an excellent personality, so he should be a joy for the Ohio State media as well.
Here is his letter to Buckeye Nation: