COLUMBUS – As a 3-star recruit who ranks somewhere outside the top 1,000 players nationally, Ohio State freshman offensive lineman Trey Leroux might not seem to fit the profile of the typical Buckeyes recruit.
But not fitting the profile is nothing new for a guy who required a high school-sized desk in kindergarten and won a bet that he could do the splits as a 6-foot, 8-inch, 360-pound high school student.
Ohio State’s 2020 recruiting class includes three 5-star recruits, 13 4-stars and seven 3-star players.
The presence of so many highly regarded recruits didn’t matter to Leroux when he committed to Ohio State last spring three days after getting an offer from head coach Ryan Day and he says it doesn’t concern him now.
“Now that I’m here I don’t pay any attention to the stars or anything about that because we’re all one team and we work together so I don’t pay attention to my ranking. I love the challenge actually,” Leroux said.
Leroux is one of 14 Ohio State recruits who enrolled in January to get a head start on their college football careers.
The first order of business when he arrived on campus was losing weight. He went from 360 pounds to 330 in the first 3 ½ weeks of conditioning workouts.
“There has definitely been a huge change in my body. I can thank Coach Mick (strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti) for that,” Leroux said.
Accommodations to his size began early. “I couldn’t fit under desks, I had to duck under doorways starting my seventh grade year. I don’t know how tall I was but I was abnormally big for my age,” he said.
“My brother was a heavyweight wrestler at 220 pounds. My dad is 6-foot and my mom is 5-9. I’m just kind of a freak for the family.”
Obviously, Ohio State doesn’t hand out scholarships just because of size. He also has outsized athletic ability.
He was Division III first-team All-Ohio as a junior and as a senior at Norwalk and was credited with 37 “pancake” blocks as a junior.
And there was that bet about doing the splits, too.
“It wasn’t a bet for money or anything. I was with a bunch of buddies and we were messing around and some kid did the splits and I said, ‘I’m sure I could do that too,’ and I ended up doing it,” Leroux said.
“It was right after practice, just messing around with the football players. It’s crazy for being my size. There’s videos out there of it.”
There are plenty of examples of 3-star Ohio State recruits succeeding in a big way. A.J. Hawk and Michael Thomas were 3-stars when they were recruited. Pat Elflein was a 3-star recruit who was the lowest-ranked player in OSU’s 2012 class and the only player ranked lower than DaVon Hamilton in the 2015 class was a long snapper.
But Leroux knows it will take a new level of athleticism to get on the field at Ohio State.
“The athleticism here is crazy. Every person is above and beyond what I thought would ever be imaginable. Getting to be a part of that is amazing,” he said.