Get to know Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne four-star interior offensive lineman Joshua Padilla, who signed his national letter of intent with Ohio State on Wednesday.
Height, Weight: 6-4, 280.
247 Composite Rankings: He’s rated as the 218th overall prospect, 10th-best interior offensive lineman and No. 6 recruit out of Ohio.
Commitment Date: Padilla committed to Ohio State on Nov. 4, 2021.
Other Offers: Arizona State, Cincinnati, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), Miami (OH), Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, Tennessee, West Virginia.
How he did in high school: Despite his projection as an interior offensive lineman at the next level, Padilla displayed versatility by anchoring Wayne’s front five from right tackle during his high school career. His prep coaches have raved to multiple outlets about his dominant play and brutish nature.
Why he committed to Ohio State: Padilla, an Ohio product, didn’t need much time to decide the school he grew up rooting for was the one he wanted to play for.
He’s been committed longer than anyone else in OSU’s 2023 class — Thompson’s Station (Tenn.) Independence four-star tight end Ty Lockwood pledged earlier but has since flipped to Alabama — camping with the team June 8, 2021 and visiting Sept. 11 before his November commitment.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson served as Padilla’s primary recruiter with former offensive line coach Greg Studrawa as his secondary. The Buckeyes moved to Justin Frye as their new offensive line coach soon after Padilla issued his pledge.
“Right away I watched interviews of his online,” Padilla told Eleven Warriors’ Garrick Hodge. “I saw instantly that he was a funny guy. I watched a video of him rapping at UCLA. So I instantly knew he was going to be a funny guy and down-to-earth person. I knew right away, ‘Yeah, this is going to be my coach.’”
Padilla was the first of what is now four offensive line commitments for Ohio State, joining Findlay, Ohio four-star Luke Montgomery, Middletown (Ohio) Lakota East four-star Austin Siereveld and Greenwich (Conn.) Brunswick School three-star Miles Walker.
Where he fits for 2023: The plan is to have Padilla play center at Ohio State. That might give him a chance to be one of the few 2023 recruits to crack the two-deep as a freshman.
Luke Wypler hasn’t made a decision on his NFL future yet, though it seems likely he will stay in Columbus for at least another season. Jakob James was his backup at center this season, though entering his fourth season in the program he’s yet to make much of an impact. Padilla could compete with James for the backup center position.