Jeff Graham couldn’t help himself. He knew all about Josh Myers, Miamisburg’s super-sized senior offensive lineman. But seeing him from a sideline was a different story.
Graham, Trotwood-Madison’s head football coach, quickly sought Myers following Friday night’s final high school football scrimmage for both teams. And why not. Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye.
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“The biggest thing is I love that he’s from our area,” said Graham, a former Ohio State University standout receiver. “Sometimes you don’t get a lot of recruiting going on from (OSU) close to Dayton. I’m so glad and happy for him and his family. He has the size. You watch film on him and he’s moving everybody out of the way.”
Myers, a hulking 6-foot-6, 306-pounder, has been one of the nation’s most sought-after linemen since his freshman season. He’s a consensus five-star player by major recruiting services and verbally committed to OSU as a sophomore, the first in the Buckeyes’ recruiting Class of 2017 to do so.
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He’s also the next highly touted offensive lineman to pledge to OSU following Taylor Decker of Vandalia-Butler. A first-team All-American last season, Decker started for most of the 2012-15 seasons at left tackle for OSU and now is a rookie and first-round draft choice of the Detroit Lions.
It’s not a stretch to envision Myers playing a similar role for the Buckeyes. He comes from an established athletic family: his father Brad played football at Kentucky and brother Zach is a senior offensive lineman at UK. His mother, Alter grad Julie Schaefer Myers, is in the University of Dayton’s athletic hall of fame for basketball.
An oversized guard in the Vikings’ run-heavy offense, Myers will likely be switched to offensive tackle at OSU.
“Wherever they want me to go,” said Myers on Friday. “I can’t wait.”
It’s a dual challenge for committed seniors in any sport to stay focused on their high school team while preparing for the next level. Myers isn’t alone in that balancing act. Another Miamisburg senior offensive tackle, 6-4, 260-pounder Cody Lamb, also is verbally committed to Cincinnati.
They’re two overly stuffed and mobile hammers who anchor a relentless ground game that features junior running back Tony Clark (1,137 yards rushing, 17 touchdowns last season).
College coaches flocked to Miamisburg’s relatively new high school in hopes of luring Myers and Lamb. Once Alabama offered Myers, OSU soon followed.
“It’s neat to have those guys in your office,” Miamisburg athletic director Jason Osborne said. “Every day there was a new college coach in the building and that’s exciting to see. We haven’t had a lot of that recently.”
Both Myers and Lamb will graduate early and will already be attending their respective schools on the Feb. 1 national signing day. Contingent upon passing enough courses, football recruits often graduate early to participate in spring football.
Until then, it’s all about the Vikings.
“I’m leaving in January so I don’t have a whole lot of time left in Miamisburg,” Myers said. “I’ve grown up here and my whole family has played at Miamisburg. There’s just a whole line of us. It means a lot to me. I’m so excited for this season and I love the guys we’ve got. We’re so close.”
In July, Myers attended an invitation-only football camp at Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. He attended but didn’t participate in an annual Friday Night Lights at OSU. That was for Buckeyes prospects who hadn’t yet earned an offer.
In between Myers has bonded with future OSU recruits and envisioned the future, with the Vikings and Buckeyes.
“It’s been a great summer,” he said. “I was extremely busy. I got to spend a lot of time with our team and it’s been kind of surreal, this whole thing. I’m getting ready to leave in four months so I’ve been soaking in everything I can.”
Miamisburg opens the season at longtime rival West Carrollton on Friday, but that game will end the series for the immediate future. That coincides with a restructuring of the Greater Western Ohio Conference.
Miamisburg, 9-2 last season, handled Trotwood 14-0 in a dominant first-half display by its offense and defense on Friday. Running plays often went over Myers on the right side. The option was to pull Myers to the left, where Lamb was anchored at tackle. Trotwood had no answer for that.
“Those are two guys, but you need more than that,” Miamisburg coach Steve Channell said. “We knew coming over here would be a test for us and we challenged our kids to go see what we’re made of. We have a good football team. It’s our fifth year together and things continue to move forward for us.”
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