Young Bucks: With NFL bloodlines, Jack Wohlabaugh should be Ohio State’s center of the future
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. Today’s edition, our final freshman focus, talks about Jack Wohlabaugh.
Who is Jack Wohlabaugh?
The son of former NFL offensive lineman Dave Wohlabaugh, Jack Wohlabaugh realizes that he could have grown up anywhere but Ohio if his father’s professional career ended anywhere other than Cleveland. After all, stops in St. Louis and New England meant that Jack didn’t grow up rooting for the Buckeyes, he’s just glad he did grow up in Ohio.
“I’ve thought about that before. I grew up watching all the good games on TV, living in Ohio I’ve been around and watched Ohio State for a long time, but I didn’t really grow up a fan of one team, though.” Wohlabaugh told Eleven Warriors. “Still, it’s hard to root against the home team. I’m glad we chose to stay here in Ohio.”
- Height: 6-foot-3
- Weight: 290
- Number: 64
- Hometown: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
- High School: Walsh Jesuit
- Composite Ranking: 20 (Guard)
- High School Highlights
As a high school junior at Stow, Ohio, power Walsh Jesuit, Wohlabaugh knew he had an opportunity to play big-time Division I football, he just wasn’t sure it’d be at Ohio State. With uncertainty around his recruitment, he took control of things and reached out to the Buckeyes before they ever did to him.
“I was the first one to email them. I was at my friend’s house and one night, I said, ‘You know, I haven’t talked to Ohio State. I’m just going to shoot Coach Warinner an email with my highlight and everything,’ ” Wohlabaugh said in May. “This was when I didn’t have any offers. I think it was December of my junior year, right before I was about to get my first offer. I shot him an email and he replied and ended up coming to school to see a workout and kept visiting.”
After that first visit, things accelerated, but an offer didn’t come overnight. It took almost five months of evaluation for Ohio State to pull the trigger on Wohlabaugh, but it took him just minutes to accept the offer when they did. He committed to Ohio State the morning of the Buckeyes’ 2015 spring game. The second offensive line commitment in the Buckeyes’ top-five recruiting class, Wohlabaugh enrolled at Ohio State in June.
What does he bring to Ohio State?
The most obvious thing Wohlabaugh brings to the table for the Buckeyes? His NFL bloodlines. That doesn’t grow on trees and it’s a major part of what attracted Ohio State to him last year. It was obvious to his high school coach at Walsh Jesuit, Scott Beigie, early on.
“It was pretty evident early on that Jack was a special sophomore,” Beigie said. “Frankly, one of the things I noticed with him was his footwork. It was ridiculous. I just hadn’t seen footwork like that and I had been working with the O-line I think for four or five years ultimately before Jack got up to the varsity level.”
Football smarts, excellent genetics and a go-getter attitude are the primary traits that the 6-foot-3, 290-pound Wohlabaugh will rely on to help him succeed at Ohio State.
Will he play as a freshman?
Though he played guard throughout the majority of his high school career, Wohlabaugh has the athletic ability and football acumen to play center at Ohio State, and that’s the position he’ll be learning this fall. Because of that transition – and because Ohio State is pretty well situated at center with Pat Elflein, followed by Billy Price and Brady Taylor if they were needed — Wohlabaugh has time to learn.
In 2016, unless something crazy happens, Wohlabaugh will redshirt but he’s in a great position to be the anchor of the Buckeyes offensive line for years to come.