Ohio State’s recruiting class grew to 11 over the weekend with the addition of Grant Toutant.
A four-star offensive tackle prospect from Warren, Mich., Toutant was verbally committed to Penn State before announcing a change of plans.
“As I look back on my recruitment journey, I know it has development me into a completely different person and athlete I was a year ago, a month ago even a week ago” he wrote in a message posted on social media. “In life, as in football, you learn, grow and change from experiences and opportunities, which impacts the outcome of the game.”
He thanked Penn State and his parents for their support before revealing he now intends to be a Buckeye.
“With much thought and prayer, I would like to announce my decision to pursue an academic and athletic career at The Ohio State University!”
Toutant is the No. 27 offensive tackle prospect in the country per 247 Sports Composite rankings and the No. 9 player in Michigan.
The analysts at 247 have him higher than Rivals, where he is a three-star prospect and the No. 22 player in his home state and No. 71 offensive tackle in the country.
The in-house 247 rankings (which are part of the composite) have Toutant just inside the national top 300 at 299th while he is 324th in the composite rankings.
His other offers include Auburn, Michigan State, Pitt and Wisconsin.
Toutant committed to Penn State on Nov. 24.
Since that time, Ohio State has changed coaches with Ryan Day replacing Urban Meyer in a transition that began in December and was completed Jan. 2.
Day took over recruiting as soon as he was announced as Meyer’s successors, and rebuilding the offensive line was among his most pressing tasks.
As he did in addressing a dearth of quarterbacks, Day has made much progress in a relatively short amount of time.
He signed Dawand Jones of Indianapolis Ben Davis and Enokk Vimahi of Kahuku, Hawaii, on the second National Signing Day in February and brought in Jonah Jackson as a graduate transfer from Rutgers to give offensive line coach Greg Studrawa 14 scholarship players this fall instead of 11.
For 2021, Day has added commitments from Toutant and Ohio-native linemen Jakob James of Cincinnati Elder and Trey Leroux of Norwalk.
They joined five-star tackle Parris Johnson Jr. of Cincinnati Princeton and four-star guard Luke Wypler of Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph Regional, who both committed last summer, to give Ohio State five offensive linemen out of the 11 seniors-to-be to commit so far.
Ohio State has signed five players from the state of Michigan since 2010 and 21 since 1990.
The most recent was Michael Jordan, a Plymouth High School product who started as a true freshman in 2016. He earned All-America recognition at center last season and was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in April.
His decision to leave school with a year of eligibility remaining was somewhat surprising and made the numbers problem on the line worse, but that situation seems to have stabilized over the past five months despite the loss of 2019 offensive line prospect Doug Nestor of Huntington, W.V., and 2020 Jake Wray of Marietta, Ga.
Wray decommitted after the coaching change announcement and later committed to Colorado. Nester remained committed but signed with Virginia Tech in February.
If everyone with eligibility returns, Ohio State is scheduled to have 16 offensive linemen on scholarship in 2021.
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