CLEVELAND — Ohio State doesn’t take the idea of losing in-state recruiting battles lightly. The Buckeyes rarely have lost players from Ohio to outside programs during Urban Meyer’s tenure as coach, and they would like to keep it that way. Unfortunately for Ohio State, the No. 2 prospect in Ohio’s 2019 class, Akron Archbishop Hoban guard Nolan Rumler, has been committed to rival Michigan since the summer before his junior season.
That doesn’t mean the Buckeyes are giving up hope on Rumler, even if the 4-star standout lineman is a solid commitment to Michigan.
“Ohio State has been coming at me pretty hard,” Rumler said. “They want me to play center for them, and that’s what they’ve been telling me. They keep saying they really like me and that I’m still a priority for them. They’re still swinging, for sure.”
The No. 4 guard and No. 62 prospect overall on the 247Sports composite rankings, Rumler is an elite talent on the offensive line. He spent much of the Under Armour All-America camp event in Cleveland on Sunday dominating a highly rated defensive line. Rumler left the camp with a coveted invite to the annual Under Armour All-America Game in January, cementing his status as an elite line prospect.
By sheer coincidence, Rumler earned his invite while competing at center (for the first time), the position that Ohio State has said he is projected to play if he goes there.
“I think I could play center. I would have to work at it, since I’ve never played [the position] before until [Sunday]. It’s weird, but I’d just have to work at it,” Rumler said.
Ohio State has been working to gain traction with the Akron prospect and make a significant dent in his recruitment. The Buckeyes were heavily involved with Rumler prior to his commitment to Michigan. Although Rumler is a lifelong Wolverines fan and Michigan is his self-described dream school, Ohio State is hoping to get him back on campus again for a chance to change his mind.
“I don’t know [if I’d take any more visits while committed]. I’d really have to think about that,” Rumler said. “I really like Michigan and I’m 100 percent committed right now, so I probably wouldn’t, but you never know what’s going to happen in the future.”
Many would be surprised if anything changed with Rumler’s commitment status. He has been widely regarded as a lock to sign with Michigan in the future because of his lifelong affinity for the school and the strong relationships he maintains with the coaching staff. Those bonds remain intact.
“It’s been going great with Michigan. I was just up there two weeks ago. I’m talking to Coach [Tim] Drevno every week and talking with Coach [Jim] Harbaugh here and there. It’s a really great relationship,” Rumler said. “I’ve spoken with Coach [Ed] Warinner, but I’ve known him since he was at Minnesota, so that’s not too new for me. There’s really nothing with the coaching changes that have affected me since my guy is Coach Drevno.”
That doesn’t mean Rumler will refuse to consider the possibility of further changes. While no one around the Michigan program expects Harbaugh to be gone from Ann Arbor after next season, Rumler must prepare contingency plans should anything strange happen at Michigan on any front.
“If there were any major coaching changes or, for some reasons, they don’t want me anymore, I do have backup options that I would go look at,” Rumler said.
For now, it seems like any possibility of Rumler flipping or de-committing from Michigan is unlikely. He has been keeping most of his focus on improving as a player and teammate and preparing for his senior season at Hoban. His objectives have been clear, culminating in the Under Armour All-America Game invitation.
“It’s a dream come true. I’ve wanted to play in this game ever since I can remember. I’ve watched it on TV every year, so I’m very happy right now. It was a fun day, and it was very productive. I think I got better. I went against some very tough kids,” Rumler said. “I tried a new position at center and played a little guard, where I’ve never played either of those before in a camp situation.”
Whatever he’s doing, it’s working. Whether Rumler’s recruitment ends in a battle between the two old rivals and Big Ten powerhouses or he chooses to play his college football somewhere else, the young guard from Akron should be bound for great things.