Ohio State landed its first commitment of the 2020 recruiting class on Monday afternoon, receiving a verbal pledge from Marietta (Ga.) tackle Jake Wray. Wray is the younger brother of 2018 tackle signee Max Wray, who is on campus as an early enrollee for the Buckeyes.
The younger Wray chose Ohio State over offers from Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame and many of the country’s other elite programs. With more than 20 offers from Power 5 programs, he had a wealth of options. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound prospect is ranked as the No. 91 overall player and the No. 14 tackle in the 2020 class by 247Sports.
What it means on the field
Jake Wray is a tremendously gifted offensive line prospect and his offer list and rankings reflect that. He’s physically developed and advanced from a technique standpoint for a high school sophomore. He should continue to improve technically and physically.
It’s too early to say definitively whether Wray will be a tackle or kick down to guard in college, but it seems likely that he’ll stay outside. He’s athletic and moves well in space, showing strong footwork and an advanced understanding of many of the challenges tackles face in the pass-rush game.
Wray has moved from the Franklin (Tenn.) program where he played his first two high school seasons to Marietta, where he’s expected to spend his junior and senior years. I don’t have any reason to believe that will stall Wray’s growth, but some prospects struggle to adapt to new coaching and different environments. By all accounts, Wray is off to a great start at Marietta and this should not be a concern, just something to keep in the back of your head.
What it means in recruiting
Ohio State likes to recruit families, and that’s reflective of its success with several sets of brothers. The Bosa family paved the way for family affairs at Ohio State under Urban Meyer, and the Buckeyes now have secured the Wray brothers.
Max Wray has been exemplary on and off the field early on at Ohio State, showing impressive maturity for a player so young. To bring in Jake Wray can only be considered a huge bonus for the Buckeyes. The football program also has a commitment in the 2019 class from 4-star defensive end Noah Potter, younger brother of Ohio State basketball player Micah Potter.
Although landing Max Wray helped Ohio State secure Jake Wray, the Buckeyes did a tremendous job of recruiting him. Jake Wray could have chosen any program in the South, and beating Alabama, Georgia, Florida and other powerhouses never will stop being satisfying for Meyer and Co., even if it’s for a legacy recruit.
Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa’s relationship with Max Wray was key, and he’s managed to impress the entire family with his attention to detail and personal approach to recruiting. The relationships forged between Studrawa and the Wrays are a credit to the way the Ohio State offensive line coach has approached recruiting.
On another level, this commitment is a continued payoff of running backs coach Tony Alford’s ability to recruit Tennessee. Before hiring Alford, Ohio State had not landed a prospect from the Volunteer State in this millennium. The Buckeyes brought in two Tennessee natives in the 2018 class — Max Wray and running back Master Teague — and have now locked up Jake Wray for 2020. They also look to be in tremendous shape for 2019 prospects such as wide receiver Trey Knox, linebacker Kane Patterson and cornerback Adonis Otey.
Check out Jake Wray’s sophomore highlights