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 2017 signees. Land of 10 Ohio State writers Ben Axelrod and Ryan Ginn are visiting the Ohio State incoming freshman class to show you more than 40-yard dash times and recruiting rankings. Each week, Land of 10 will introduce the Ohio State fan base to one of the new Buckeyes. What follows is a sneak peek at our upcoming profile on 4-star offensive tackle Thayer Munford.
MASSILLON, Ohio — For Urban Meyer to put the finishing touches on Ohio State’s most recent recruiting class, he first had to go back to his first team as a head coach.
Jon Mazur was the starting center on Meyer’s two teams at Bowling Green and served as one of the Falcons’ four captains in 2002. Unsurprisingly, Mazur lists Meyer as the top reference on a resume that helped him land the offensive line coaching job at Massillon (Ohio) Washington in 2015.
A year later, offensive tackle Thayer Munford arrived after spending the first three seasons of his high school career at Cincinnati La Salle. And while he initially was hesitant to do so, it wasn’t long before Mazur was calling his old position coach and current Buckeyes assistant Greg Studrawa to rave about the 4-star prospect.
“When he came in here, I knew just looking at him he was a big-time recruit,” Mazur told Land of 10. “But I didn’t make any calls to coach Stud or coach Meyer until I spent about six weeks with Thayer. About six weeks after, I reached out to coach Stud and said, ‘Hey, I love this kid. He’s not just a great player, he’s a great kid. He’s got some things to work on, but I think he’s a guy you would love.”
Those issues included questions about Munford’s weight and grades, which had driven several other top-level programs away from the No. 28 offensive tackle in the Class of 2017. Nevertheless, Mazur insisted to his former coach that Munford was a “coach Stud type of guy.”
After a strong showing from Munford at Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights camp last July, Studrawa was convinced. As Meyer tells it, the Buckeyes offensive line coach then proceeded to spend the ensuing six months making sure Ohio State would have a spot saved for Munford in its highly touted 2017 recruiting class.
“He would not let that die,” Meyer said of Studrawa on National Signing Day. “He kept going, ‘I want this guy, I want this guy.’ ”
“We’re not going to have room,” Meyer would rebut.
“We’re going to have room,” Studrawa insisted.
Studrawa was right. With Munford’s weight in check and grades on track, he committed to Ohio State on National Signing Day, becoming the 21st and final member of the Buckeyes’ 2017 class.
It may not have happened if not for Mazur and Meyer’s Bowling Green connection.
“He helped me a lot,” Munford said of Mazur. “Coach Stud knew about me, but he didn’t actually know me until the summer. He told me after Friday Night Lights, ‘I’m going to fight for you.’
“I just can’t thank them both enough. The loyalty that I have for them is just beyond anything.”
Other Ohio State stories from Land of 10’s “Next Generation” series: