Ohio State secured a commitment this morning from St. Clairsville, Ohio, three-star offensive tackle Avery Henry, who picked up an offer from the Buckeyes just two days ago.
While the 6-foot-6 and 305-pounder might not have the same star power as some of the other recruits in Ohio State’s class, there’s no denying his work ethic and determination after he lost more than 65 pounds over the last year.
Henry projects very similarly to junior offensive tackle Dawand Jones, who came to Columbus as a massive but unheralded prospect and has since developed into one of the Buckeyes’ best offensive linemen. Like Jones, he must continue to transform his body and add muscle in order to see playing time down the line.
Henry hails from an area of the state that doesn’t send many players to Ohio State, though the Buckeyes did sign former running backs Tim and John Spencer from his high school in 1979 and 1987, respectively.
In fact, many expected Henry to eventually end up at West Virginia, given both his proximity and his family ties to the program, as his grandfather, Joe Pabian II, and his uncle, Joe Pabian III, both played for the Mountaineers.
Henry, who plays both offensive and defensive line and is a key contributor on the hardwood for the Red Devils, also had offers from Akron, Eastern Michigan, Iowa State and Syracuse, as well as interest from Cincinnati, Miami (Ohio) and Pittsburgh.
His decision to decommit from the Cyclones following his visit to Ohio State late last month brings to mind the staff’s pursuit of redshirt freshman running back Miyan Williams, who flipped to the Buckeyes as part of the 2020 recruiting cycle.
As for how he fits into the class, Henry is the third offensive lineman to commit to Ohio State this cycle, joining West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West four-star Tegra Tshabola and Englewood (Colo.) Cherry Creek four-star George Fitzpatrick.
The Buckeyes hope to add one or two more players at the position, with Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco four-star guard Earnest Greene; Humble (Texas) Atascocita four-star tackle Kam Dewberry; and Hammond (Wisc.) St. Croix Central four-star guard Carson Hinzman at the top of the list.
Henry’s commitment also makes it less likely that Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne four-star tackle Aamil Wagner ends up in the class, as he’s also viewed as a developmental prospect.
“You have to be smart about how many of those guys you take, and I think that’s part of the puzzle,” head coach Ryan Day said during his press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “Just in general right now, I think you really have to recruit guys that want to be at Ohio State, guys that want to be Buckeyes and understand what being a Buckeye is because, the minute something doesn’t go well, they could walk out the door.
“We’re really taking that to heart and we’re really evaluating all these guys and what we think, and really trying not to look at the stars and who’s recruiting them. But what do we think? And what is the right fit for Ohio State? I think we’ve done a good job of that, but we have to continue to focus on that as we move forward.
“There are certain situations where you see traits and (think), ‘Can we develop him?’ If you take too many projections, you could put yourself in a bad spot. Certainly we want to take guys who have tremendous traits that want to be at Ohio State, want to be a Buckeye and are willing to put the work in.”
Henry is now the fifth in-state commitment for Ohio State, joining Tshabola, Kettering Archbishop Alter five-star linebacker C.J. Hicks, Marysville four-star linebacker Gabe Powers and West Chester Lakota West four-star cornerback Jyaire Brown.
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