Former East offensive lineman and Ohio State recruit Tyler Gerald has committed to participate in the Under Armour High School All-America game.
The annual game invites the best high school seniors from across the country to play in front of a nationally televised audience at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fl. The game will take place in early January 2016 and will be broadcast on ESPN.
“To play with these guys and compete, it’s a big honor. It’s very rewarding for me. It means a lot for me as a person,” Gerald said.
Gerald, who transferred from East to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fl., earlier this year, is currently listed as a four-star recruit and the fifth-best guard in the Class of 2016 by ESPN.
The Under Armour All-America Game, along with the U.S. Army All-America Bowl are considered the two most prestigious high school football All-Star games in the country. Gerald also received an invite from the Army All-America Bowl, but chose to play in the Under Armour game in part because of the apparel company’s relationship with IMG.
Gerald was offered by Ohio State prior to his junior year last summer and committed shortly after. He then helped lead East to a 5-5 record before transferring to IMG in January. He’s since received offers from Maryland, Penn State, Florida State and Alabama, though he remains strongly committed to the Buckeyes. He plans to graduate from IMG Academy in January 2016 and report to Ohio State in time for spring practice.
While in St. Petersburg, he’ll get the chance to play with OSU recruit Kareem Walker, a four-star running back from DePaul Catholic High School in Wayne, New Jersey. If all goes according to plan, Gerald will block for Walker in Ohio Stadium in the fall of 2016.
Gerald hopes that the opportunity will shed some light on his hometown of Sciotoville and open the door for athletes across southern Ohio. One of his former East teammates, sophomore lineman Blaine Scott, has already received college offers from Ohio and Toledo, and expects many more to come soon.
“It means a lot for my community, too,” Gerald said. “We have these other guys that are trying to get recruited. We’re opening the door for them with our recruitment and our success. We’re allowing people to do what they want to do with their life, even though they came from a small town like I did.”
Reach Alex Hider at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931 or on Twitter @PDTSportsWriter