Every day until fall camp begins for Ohio State, we will profile a different Buckeye football player. Today that player is senior right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere. Yesterday it was defensive tackle Haskell Garrett. You can find all of the daily Scoop Profiles right here.

Nicholas Petit-Frere

No. 78 | Right Tackle | 6-5 315 | Senior | Berkeley Prep High School | Tampa, Florida

How’d He Get Here

Nicholas Petit-Frere was yet another win for Ohio State over Michigan. The Wolverines were Petit-Frere’s first offer way back in October of 2015. The Buckeyes followed suit in February of 2016 and then for the next two years Ohio State and Michigan battled it out. Petit-Frere took all five official visits, seeing Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida, Michigan, and Ohio State. The Buckeyes were his final visit, but it may have been the Michigan visit that did more good for Ohio State. Petit-Frere’s visit to Michigan was for the 2017 Ohio State game. A game won by the Buckeyes by the score of 31-20. It was a devastating day for the Wolverines in more ways than just the scoreboard. Visiting that day with Petit-Frere were future first-round NFL Draft picks Jamarr Chase and Jayson Oweh, as well as third-rounder Tommy Tremble and fifth-rounder Tal Hufanga. Current Buckeye defensive end Tyler Friday was also in attendance for that game. Not willing to give up on Petit-Frere, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh had the Wolverines conduct their Outback Bowl practices at Petit-Frere’s high school in Tampa. Michigan lost the Outback Bowl to South Carolina 26-19. Petit-Frere signed with Ohio State about a month later. The signing was significant considering the Buckeyes missed out on in-state 5-star offensive tackle Jackson Carman who chose Clemson. All Ohio State did to replace him was sign Petit-Frere who was the top-rated tackle in the 2018 class and the No. 7 player overall. He did have to redshirt as a true freshman, and then narrowly lost out in a battle with Branden Bowen for the right tackle job. All along the way, Petit-Frere was getting bigger and stronger, after arriving at Ohio State somewhere in the 270-pound range. He was put on an 8,000-calorie-a-day diet, but it eventually paid off and he was outstanding as a first-year starter in 2020. He was named a Second-Team All-Big Ten selection by the conference coaches (and just Honorable Mention by the media).

Current Situation

Nicholas Petit-Frere will line up this season at right tackle for the Buckeyes, joining four-year starting left tackle Thayer Munford to once again provide one of the best bookends in the nation. Last year they were arguably the best. This year the argument may be put to rest. Petit-Frere is now big enough and strong enough to put all of the athleticism and potential into his game, allowing him to be a complete lineman as both a pass protector and run blocker. It has been a long process and yet it is far from over. Petit-Frere won’t get as much attention as Munford, but he should.

What to Like

When Nicholas Petit-Frere got to Ohio State, he looked like a tight end. He kind of moved like one too. But as the weight has been put on, he gradually blossomed into the 315-pound tackle you got to see (every other) Saturday last fall. Even aside from his athletic traits, he’s a very smart player as well. He has a great understanding of the offense and is always looking to learn more. He is a nice guy off the field but growing meaner on the field by the day. Petit-Frere can handle all kinds of pass rushers because he’s no longer just an athletic guy using his feet to get in the way. He’s now able to handle power rushers who try to push linemen back into the quarter. There really isn’t anything to dislike about him at right tackle and his play showed that last year.

What’s the Ceiling This Year?

Being a right tackle, Nicholas Petit-Frere will automatically miss out on some of the attention he deserves. Left tackle is the premier position, but Petit-Frere doesn’t need to play second fiddle to anybody this year. By all measures, he should be outstanding this season, just as he was last year. More Big Ten accolades should follow and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some All-American talk floated about as well.

And Beyond?

While it’s very unlikely to happen, Nicholas Petit-Frere could use the free year provided by the NCAA and have three years of eligibility remaining (including this year). He will definitely have an opportunity to leave early after the 2021 season, but if he chooses to return would he stick at right tackle or would he like a shot at left tackle? And how would that impact sophomore Paris Johnson, who is slated to be the left tackle in 2022? Choosing between the two of them is what coaches consider a good problem to have, but that day is well down the road. Petit-Frere will eventually find his way to the NFL and even if he never sees another start at left tackle for the Buckeyes, that won’t stop the NFL from putting him there if they like what they see over the next season or two (or three).

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