Ohio State plays Penn State next on the football field Nov. 23, but the Buckeyes beat the Nittany Lions away from the gridiron in an enormous offseason recruiting battle over the weekend.
OSU managed to flip Warren (Mich.) De La Salle four-star offensive tackle Grant Toutant from PSU, a decision he shared abruptly Sunday evening on his Twitter page, with a firm “no interviews” stance declared after the announcement.
Toutant thanked several members of the Penn State staff — head coach James Franklin, run game coordinator/offensive line coach Matt Limegrover and graduate assistant Mark Dupuis — before he laid out his Ohio State commitment.
“As I look back on my recruitment journey, I know it had developed me into a completely different person and athlete I was a year ago, a month ago, even a week ago,” Toutant said. “In life, as in football, you learn, grow and change from experiences and opportunities, which impacts the outcome of the game.
“With that said, I would like to thank Coach Franklin, Coach Limegrover, Coach Dupuis and all the Penn State staff for supporting and first believing in me throughout this recruitment process.
“However, I have made the decision to formally announce my decommitment from Penn State University to pursue and opportunity that is best fit for me and my future.
“Thank you, to my family and especially my mom and dad, for their continued support and guidance.
“With much though and prayer, I would like to announce my decision to pursue and academic and athletic career at THE Ohio State University!”
Please respect my decision, no interviews pic.twitter.com/01UKIEyrQU
— Grant Toutant (@toutant_grant) June 10, 2019
After he announced his commitment to Penn State in November, Toutant added offers from the Buckeyes (Jan. 17), Michigan State (Jan. 17) and Auburn (April 11).
But the 6-7, 320-pounder appeared solid to the Nittany Lions as he made multiple return trips to campus throughout the spring — Feb. 2, March 16, April 13 and May 18.
His change of heart ultimately gives head coach Ryan Day and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa their fifth offensive linemen — four of which are currently considered tackles — as they grow the 2020 recruiting class to 11 commitments with an early emphasis up front.
OSU adds Toutant to a massive future front with Cincinnati Princeton five-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson (6-7 1/2, 295), Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph Regional four-star center Luke Wypler (6-3 1/2, 285), Cincinnati Elder three-star offensive tackle Jakob James (6-5, 275) and Norwalk, Ohio, three-star offensive tackle Trey Leroux (6-8, 355) having committed throughout the past year.
The class now includes those five offensive linemen with Catawissa (Pa.) Southern Columbia five-star wide receiver Julian Fleming (6-2, 199); Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral four-star quarterback Jack Miller (6-4, 210); Sammamish (Wash.) Eastside Catholic four-star wide receiver Gee Scott (6-2 1/2, 207); Rockwall, Texas, four-star wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (6-1, 188); Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star defensive back Lejond Cavazos (6-1, 190) and Cincinnati La Salle kicker Jake Seibert (6-1, 190).
— Grant Toutant (@toutant_grant) March 31, 2019