PDT Sports Contributor
For young sports enthusiasts who grow up loving watching and playing sports, getting national notoriety on media publications such as ESPN and Scout.com are one of the many dreams that a young athlete can only hope to accomplish.
However, that dream that’s held by so many individuals across our country has become a reality for one young football star in Southeastern Ohio.
Tyler Gerald, who committed to Ohio State in June, has been included into three major recruiting publications for the Class of 2016. The offensive guard is right in the heart of the 2016 24/7 Sports, ESPN, and Scout Top 300 lists for his graduating class.
The 6’5”, 295-pound guard, who has only played football for three years, is already considered to be one of the best offensive linemen prospects in the entire country for his respective class, as Gerald is rated as the fifth-best guard prospect by ESPN and 24/7 and the sixth-best guard prospect by Scout. All three publications have Gerald as a four-star prospect.
In addition to the high position rankings, Gerald is ranked as a highly coveted prospect when compared to players at other positions, as shown by his #115 overall ranking on Scout and a #233 overall ranking on ESPN.
24/7 Sports also has the East High School standout ranked in two separate lists, which includes the rankings that the company released (Gerald is ranked #183 in those rankings) and a composite ranking, which combines all of the major recruiting services in the country and puts their rankings together to create a separate list. The composite ranking has Gerald placed in #192nd in the country.
In fact, the only major recruiting publication that hasn’t ranked Gerald yet is Rivals.com, who does not release junior rankings until a couple months after National Signing Day.
Gerald says that he is amazed by the rankings but is determined to not let them get to his head and says that there’s work to be done for the upcoming season.
“I kind of impressed myself,” Gerald said. “I started playing football when I was in the eighth grade and never really played sports before that, and since I started playing, I’ve kind of just taken off with it from there. For them to rank me so highly and think so highly of me as a football player, it’s a huge compliment. However, I’m not trying to slow down by any means necessary.”
Gerald also mentioned that he was surprised on how fast his recruitment picked up and said that the overall recruiting process has been surreal over the past few months.
“The whole idea of joining (Ohio State) is somewhat intimidating, especially with the recruiting process happening so fast, but at the same time, I think that I’m ready to go play at the next level,” Gerald said.
The only thing that may top Gerald’s skills on the gridiron are his skills off of it, as he has received high academic marks while at East. The junior-to-be says that doing well academically is an integral part of representing the student-athlete name at a high level.
“It’s not just the work at practice and on the field,” Gerald said. “That is only part of the work toward wanting to be a next-level player or a playmaker at the college level; doing well academically helps solidify that status of being a next-level athlete.”
With Gerald’s commitment to Ohio State, he’ll join a program that has put many Buckeye linemen on the path to future stardom in the NFL, such as Orlando Pace and Korey Stringer.
“To be coached by what I think is the best coach in the nation in Urban Meyer and to have such a high expectation of offensive linemen is something that I think will help in and of itself because they will expect nothing less than your best.”
However, Gerald wants to take care of his final two years at East first and says that the Tartans (which return a 1,000 yard rusher in sophomore back Akia Brown and a fellow star on the offensive line in junior Nick Basham) have a plethora of upcoming talent on the roster.
“This year, we have a lot of upcoming talent, especially with the backfield that we have and with Basham and a couple of other big-sized linemen helping me, I expect excellence out of us this year,” Gerald said. “Since East is a small school, we’re kind of downgraded a lot of the time, but it’s going to be something else this year and I’m going to try my best to make it that way.”