MIAMISBURG, Ohio — There’s nothing Ohio State signee Josh Myers enjoys more than pancaking opposing defensive linemen.
Well, except for watching romantic movies.
At 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds, Myers is an absolute terror on the football field. He ranks as the No. 3 offensive tackle and No. 10 overall prospect in the 247 Sports composite rankings. His strength allows him to bulldoze opposing defenders, but he’s equally able to chase them down with his speed and athleticism.
When he was done mauling people in practice, however, Myers would make it home in time to host some teammates for Love Movie Wednesdays.
“Josh likes romantic movies,” Miamisburg head coach Steve Channell told Land of 10. “I just found that out this year. Like ‘The Notebook’ and movies like that.”
When Channell offered that bit of information, he didn’t think his star pupil would confess to it. But when it comes to Myers, it’s best to expect the unexpected. During an interview, he offered it on his own before he could even be asked about it.
“Me and all my friends, we’re all offensive or defensive linemen, big people,” he said. “I don’t know what it is, but we have Love Movie Wednesdays. That is a thing.”
Anywhere from a handful to a dozen of Myers’ teammates and friends will pile into the living room at his house. He estimated that the gatherings take place every few Wednesdays, as often as the group can get together on the same night.
He enjoys romantic comedies but his taste leans more toward drama. When he listed his favorites, they were all film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks books — “The Notebook,” “The Choice” and “The Best of Me.”
Were it not for a choice he made nearly two years ago, he may well have been joined for screenings by just about every college football coach in the country.
Myers was built to be an elite football player.
His father Brad played football at Kentucky. His mother Julie played basketball at Dayton. Josh’s oldest brother Zach just finished up a 5-year football career at Kentucky. His other brother Brett, described as the best athlete of the bunch, played three sports in high school.
His toughness was honed in games against his brothers on the family basketball hoop. He took beatings every time he went out there.
“Josh got torn up by his brothers,” Brad said. “They showed him no mercy.”
Even though he loved playing basketball, he was destined to find his way onto the gridiron. Myers doesn’t ever remember a time when he didn’t dwarf his classmates.
“I don’t even know when my growth spurts were,” he said. “I just continuously grew until it started slowing down in high school. Even then, I would still gain an inch a year.”
By the time Myers reached eighth grade, he already looked like he could be a high school senior. Channell remembers someone telling him he needed to go see Josh in person. He went down to the middle school and it didn’t take much detective work to find him.
“They told me I’d know him when I saw him,” Channell said. “So I’m standing outside the gym at the junior high and the bell rings. I see all these junior high kids and down the hall I see this kid that’s a head and a half bigger than all these other kids walking down the hallway. Here comes Josh walking down the hallway. He was probably 6-foot-3, 230 pounds.”
The summer before his freshman year of high school, Channell brought Myers to some one-day camps at MAC schools. Myers was still raw, but that didn’t stop him from dominating one-on-one reps. He had the size and the athleticism that is so coveted in offensive linemen.
When coaches went to talk to Channell about him, however, they got quite the surprise.
“They’d come up and ask me about Josh, and I’d have to tell them he just finished eighth grade,” Channell said. “They couldn’t believe it.”
Myers went on to play varsity as a freshman. Furthermore, he looked like he belonged out there. His recruitment soon began to take off. Indiana offered him his first scholarship, although the coaches there told Channell they knew they’d never be able to sign him.
Coaches took one look at his freshman season Hudl tape, and the offers followed from there.
Illinois offered in January 2014, then Michigan followed in February. Ohio State set everything off when it offered him in March. Before long, Myers owned offers from Tennessee, Florida, Michigan State and Notre Dame.
And then came Alabama.
“The summer between his freshman and sophomore year he started getting the national attention from recruiting services,” Channell said. “Bobby Williams came here in the spring, met Josh, looked at him. He told Josh that coach Saban sent him there to tell him he’d like to see him at camp this summer and evaluate him. Josh’s eyes got real big.
“We went down to Tuscaloosa – his mom, dad, Josh and I. He worked out down there for a day. After about 15 minutes, their offensive line coach Mario Cristobal turned to me and winked and gave me a thumbs up. At the end of camp they called out three of four kids and Josh was one of them. We went to Coach Saban’s office. Saban offered him.”
In-state recruitments are often a slam dunk for Ohio State. However, the Buckeyes had to work for this one. Myers didn’t grow up bleeding scarlet and gray. His father and oldest brother played at Kentucky.
When those offers came in, Myers took them seriously. He visited Michigan and Michigan State. Notre Dame was also on the visit list. He went down to Alabama for that camp, and he also took trips to see Florida and Tennessee.
His mind kept coming back to one school, though.
Myers surprised his parents when, before a Junior Day visit in January 2015, he told them he was going to commit to Ohio State.
When he announced his commitment, it came as unexpected news in the recruiting world. Players are committing earlier and earlier, but 5-star prospects rarely commit two years before their national signing day. Shutting down and taking no more visits is even rarer. However, Myers saw practicality and purpose in an early commitment.
He told head coach Urban Meyer and then-offensive line coach Ed Warinner that he wanted them to be able to use their time and effort recruiting his future teammates. He already knew where he wanted to go. What was the point in dragging out the process for another two years? In his mind, that would only waste everyone’s time.
“I just know that I had already made up my mind that Ohio State was where I wanted to be,” he said. “I went to all the schools that I felt there was a chance I could go to and might like. After all those trips, I just knew. The recruiting process is stressful for players and for coaches, in my opinion. I didn’t want to waste anyone else’s time. I didn’t want to waste Ohio State’s time, and I didn’t want to waste my time.”
While he stayed faithful over the next two years, Ohio State began to assemble a historic class. Over the past few months, six other 5-star recruits have joined him. The Buckeyes have by far the best average player rating in the 247Sports composite rankings for the class of 2017. It’s an all-time great class, and it probably didn’t hurt that the staff didn’t have to spend the last two years monitoring his every move.
|247 composite position ranking (OT)||No. 3|
|247 overall ranking||No. 10|
|Commitment date||Jan. 25, 2015|
That type of selflessness comes with a price. Some of his peers spent the last six months seeing the country on the dime of athletic departments. Myers took his lone official visit to Ohio State during bowl practice in December. He showed up on a Friday and left on a Sunday.
“He could have gone to Oregon, to anywhere, for an official visit,” Channell said. “You name the school and he could have gone there. A lot of kids would fly to Florida or Southern California and beg to be wined and dined. He could have taken every official visit they allowed him to, but he wasn’t interested.”
It also cost him plenty of attention, not that he cares. Given their status as elite recruits, 5-stars are written about, discussed and fawned over at an obscene rate. Myers, however, has somehow flown under the radar despite being ranked the No. 10 recruit in the country. His commitment was monstrous for Ohio State. However, the fact that it happened two years ago has blunted the excitement.
“I really don’t care about getting talked about,” Myers said. “At some point, all of us are getting talked about. When we get to college, none of that is going to matter. My family has kept me grounded and I know that none of this matters when you step foot on a college campus.”
Monday marked his first day of classes at Ohio State. He’ll get an early start on trying to crack the depth chart, just as true freshman Michael Jordan did last season. He gives the Buckeyes another depth option at a position group that experienced some trouble last season. Certainly, his arrival on campus is a big deal.
The only question is whether or not Love Movie Wednesdays will be coming with him.