Ohio State’s run of summer commitments continued on Friday morning as the Buckeyes plucked three-star offensive tackle Miles Walker out of the Brunswick School in Greenwich (CT) on Friday morning. Ohio State’s class is starting to come into focus, particularly on the offensive side of the football, with Walker becoming the first non-Ohioan to join this group of offensive linemen.
What Ohio State is getting
Ohio State’s focus along the offensive line has been clearly set on tackle bodies in recent months and Miles Walker is definitely a prototypical tackle body at 6-foot-6 and 275-pounds. Walker has plenty of room to fill out still, even after gaining roughly 50 pounds over the past year and a half so he gives Justin Fyre a very intriguing block of clay to mold.
Walker is more than just a big body, however. He is also a plus athlete who can get out to the second level and connect on blocks in space. He is a natural knee bender with really impressive lateral quickness who has a chance to blossom into a really good pass protector.
Walker is a work in progress though and so there will be a growing process and some patience will be needed. He’ll need to get bigger and stronger before he can make an impact at the Big Ten level. He plays a little bit upright, especially in the run game, and he’s not seeing a lot of elite competition in that part of the country. But with all of the nitpicking, you still come back to 6-foot-6, 275-pounds with really good feet. That is a great place to start and he has physical tools that can be molded into a really, really good player.
There are some similarities here between Walker and second-year Ohio State offensive tackle Zen Michalski. Michalski was a late bloomer who ultimately picked up a fourth star by the end of his recruiting process. He was a prospect with considerable upside but who many felt would take some time to adjust to his new body and improve his technique. While the jury is still out on Michalski, the early returns have been positive and that Michalski will end up being a “hit” for the Buckeyes. Walker possesses those types of tools and that type of upside.
I see Walker as a likely redshirt candidate his first year at Ohio State but a player with all of the tools to develop into a starter down the road after a couple of years in the program.
What it means for recruiting
It is pretty much Olaus Alinen Watch at this point for Ohio State. The four-star Finnish import has been a top target for Justin Frye and the Buckeyes for quite a while now and he sits at the very top of wish list at this point. Alinen made his official visit back in June and could decide this summer with Alabama and Miami presenting the biggest competition for Ohio State.
Where things are trending with Alinen will dictate Ohio State’s next recruiting move. If the Buckeyes could land Alinen, they would call it a day with five offensive linemen committed in the 2023 class. If Alinen opts for Alabama or Miami, things become more complicated in the search for a fifth lineman in the class.
While Samson Okunlola’s name continues to pop up, there has never been a good reason to believe that Ohio State is going to land the top 100 prospect and until an official visit is scheduled, there isn’t much point in considering him a real possibility.
Four-star Maryland product Tosin Babalade would probably be the next guy up. South Carolina’s Monroe Freeling is another name to watch. But if Alinen heads elsewhere, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Ohio State could slow things down and broaden its scope and wait to see some senior film in September or see if a player currently committed elsewhere pops back onto the market. Ohio State absolutely wants to take five in this class and that fifth player will almost surely be a tackle body like Walker.