Land of 10 has embarked on a series of Next Generation articles, a project that aims to bring our readers greater insight into the Class of 2018 signees. Land of 10 Ohio State writers Austin Ward and Ryan Ginn are visiting the Ohio State incoming freshman class to show you more than 40-yard dash times and recruiting rankings. What follows is a sneak peek at our upcoming profile on 4-star offensive tackle Max Wray.
FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Nobody saw Max Wray’s commitment to Ohio State coming — most of all the Wray family itself.
Wray, a 4-star tackle from Franklin, Tenn., reopened his recruitment in March 2017 after a yearlong commitment to Georgia. He visited Alabama and Clemson in early March, and his spring break a couple weeks later allowed the family — Max, his parents Sam and Stacy and younger brother Jake — to take trips to Texas, LSU and Tennessee.
That was enough visits for Max, who admittedly was never fond of the recruiting process. But Ohio State and coach Urban Meyer had been relentless in their recruitment since Wray backed off his Georgia pledge. Sam felt they should take one more trip on April 8 to see what Ohio State had to offer. The rest of the family wasn’t thrilled.
“I thought they were going to kill me,” he said.
Normally incredibly diligent before visits, Stacy said she didn’t even do research about the Buckeyes beforehand. There were no expectations for the visit, especially because it didn’t seem like anything could top the Alabama visit the month before.
And then they got to Columbus, and everything changed.
“He knew what he was looking for, and it was like everything came together when we were at Ohio State,” Stacy said. “He was sitting in a meeting with [offensive line coach Greg Studrawa], and I looked at Sam and said, ‘He’s going to commit to Ohio State.’ We’d been on campus for an hour and a half. It was just different, and that was the X-factor for Max. It was just the school for him.”
At 2:30 in the morning, Max sent Sam a text that said Ohio State was the place he wanted to be. He’d been spending the day with the offensive line group, including Michael Jordan, Gavin Cupp, Jack Wohlabaugh and Matthew Burrell.
“I’d been hanging out with the guys, and it felt like my friends back home,” Max said. “It wasn’t awkward, and they weren’t forcing anything and I wasn’t forcing it. It was just normal.”
A week later, he officially announced his commitment to Ohio State on the morning of the spring game. Since then, he’s been all Buckeye. He returned in the summer for a one-day camp and then visited for the Oklahoma game and the Penn State game.
On Dec. 20, he’ll sign with the Buckeyes during the early signing period and enroll in January. All after a visit that wasn’t even supposed to happen.