Ever since Ohio State offered their first 2023 prospect all the way back in 2019 there has been a question about who might be the Buckeyes’ first commitment in the class. The questions and discussion only got more intense as more 2023 prospects got offered. Those discussions got even louder once the COVID-19 dead period ended on June 1st and those now-juniors got to take college visits. Well, today Buckeyes fans finally have their answer to that question with the commitment of 2023 tight end Ty Lockwood out of Independence High School (TN).
While Lockwood may have not been everyone’s pick for Ohio State’s first 2023 commitment when he was offered back in February, after getting to know him more, maybe he should have been. Not only is the 6-foot-5 and 225 prospect a perfect culture fit for the Buckeyes but he is also the perfect guy to lead this class according to Lockwood himself.
“I think of myself as a leader wherever I go and whatever team I’m on,” he told Buckeye Scoop. “So this will be a great start for me and it will be great to fill this class up with studs. I was definitely thinking about that big time.”
As for what made him want to be the leader for the Buckeyes’ class instead of one of his other final four schools, it was his fit in Columbus. A fit that made him know Ohio State was the perfect place for him.
“To be completely honest, Ohio State is the perfect fit for me football wise, culture wise, and academic wise,” he said. “Once you get a feeling that you want to be somewhere, you buy into the feeling and pull the trigger.”
On top of the fit, the Buckeyes coaching staff also made Lockwood feel at home despite being hours away from his real home in Tennessee. From head coach Ryan Day to tight ends coach Kevin Wilson and everyone else in Columbus, they all showed Lockwood that they wanted him at Ohio State.
“The coaching staff is awesome, every one of those guys on the staff care about me and have shown me that I am their priority,” he said.
And while everything about Ohio State is very clear for Lockwood right now, which is why he committed, he might not feel this same way if not for his two visits to Columbus this summer. A June 13th unofficial visit and July 29th visit for Ohio State’s Buckeye BBQ helped make him feel even more comfortable with his decision.
“Also going on two visits really helped me see what it’s all about there,” he said. “The first visit I didn’t meet any players and just got the tour of the place. The second visit was key for me because I was able to meet players and watch a good part of practice.”
Finally, as the first commitment and now leader of the Buckeyes’ 2023 class, Lockwood will now begin working on bringing a talented class with him to Ohio State. And he already has a few names in mind for who he wants to join him.
“I am going to go after Luke Montgomery, Carnell Tate, Payton Kirkland, and Joshua Padilla big time,” he revealed. “I saw some of those dudes on the visit I went on.”
On the recruiting trail, Lockwood provides a positive voice in the south as a Tennessee native and someone that should be an effective peer recruiter. On the field, he shows the talent and skill to be the best pass-catching tight end the Buckeyes have landed since Jeremy Ruckert based on his sophomore film.
For more on Lockwood’s commitment and the 2023 class, we will have everything you need here at Buckeye Scoop.