Ohio State’s 2016 recruiting class – the country’s fourth-ranked class – featured 25 signees from 11 states and many of those players are expected to contribute to the Buckeyes on-field success early in their careers.
Join Landof10.com as we introduce you to the next wave of Buckeyes in our Young Bucks series. Up next is offensive guard Gavin Cupp.
Who is Gavin Cupp?
Gavin Cupp insists that it was only about competing against the best.
The Leipsic, Ohio, native was committed to Michigan State in July 2015 but showed up to Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights camp. That wasn’t a crime in and of itself — a few other Spartans commits were there to watch their friends — but Cupp chose to work out under the watchful eye of Ed Warinner, the OSU offensive coordinator who was also the program’s offensive line coach at the time.
“I’d been working very hard in the summer and had camped at Michigan State and at the Nike combine in Columbus,” Cupp said last fall. “I had to put myself out there one more time. I had been in contact with Ohio State and they invited me down, so I thought if there’s a place where I could prove myself for the last time, it would be there.
“It’s a very elite camp, so I figured if I could hold my own against those guys, I would definitely prove myself.”
By the time the camp was over, Michigan State had leaked to reporters that it would be revoking its scholarship offer to Cupp.
Here’s the details:
- Height: 6-foot-5
- Weight: 300
- Number: 61
- Hometown: Leipsic, Ohio
- High School: Leipsic
- Composite Ranking: 41 (Offensive tackle)
- High School Highlights
What followed was one of the worst weeks he could imagine. He’d not yet heard a verdict from Ohio State on his performance, and Michigan State showed no signs of backing off its no tolerance possibility.
Luckily for him, he didn’t have to wait too long. On July 30, Ohio State extended him a scholarship offer and he accepted a week later. When OSU coach Urban Meyer could finally comment publicly on Cupp, he made clear that the offer wasn’t some act of charity.
“This is a credit to him,” Meyer said on National Signing Day. “He wanted to be a Buckeye. He was committed somewhere else in the Big Ten. And he knew if he came to our camp, something might happen. And that school, I don’t know the whole story, but I don’t think he was part of their class anymore. I went down, stood and watched him because I knew what was going on.
“But I don’t micromanage that position either. That’s up to the line coach and the coordinator to present to me. But I gave that an extra look because that’s tough. But we didn’t give it to him because we felt sorry for him. He earned it.”
What does he bring to Ohio State?
He’s a versatile player who could end up playing anywhere on the offensive line because of his size and athleticism. Like most offensive linemen coming out of high school, he’s an advanced run blocker who still needs some polish in pass protection. He also displays plenty of toughness and flashes a mean streak, which is always good to see in the trenches.
Will he play as a freshman?
As it stands, no. It’s rare for any true freshman to play on the line at Ohio State, and it doesn’t help that Cupp lines up at the same spot as true freshman Michael Jordan, who is on track to start at offensive guard for the Buckeyes. Cupp projects to be a quality player for the Buckeyes later in his career, but there are too many experienced players in front of him on the offensive line depth chart.