Our Freshman Focus series now moves to offensive tackle Max Wray. Wray (6-6 289) comes to Ohio State from Franklin, Tennessee, where he played both right and left tackle for his Franklin High football team. The clips below are all at right tackle during his junior season and the entire highlight package can be found here.
Wray is ranked the No. 9 offensive tackle in the 2018 class and is a tall, mobile offensive line prospect. He has already enrolled at Ohio State and is participating in winter workouts.
Skilled as both a run blocker and pass blocker, Wray is going to have an opportunity to win a spot in the Buckeyes’ two-deep at one of the tackle spots this season.
What to Like
Wray has a tall tackle frame and is only going to get stronger. He already has experience as a pass blocker, which can be half the battle at times with high school offensive linemen. Wray isn’t just a mountain-of-a-man plodder on the offensive line. He will move and run and can provide a blocker almost from one hash to the other.
Here are three examples of his mobility. In the first, he locks up with his man on a jet sweep and keeps his feet moving for the entire play until the ball carrier is well past. In the second, he kicks outside against a wide pass rush. In the third, he immediately heads to the second level to grab a linebacker on a running play.
Wray is a pretty complete lineman with experience in one-on-one situations and combo blocks. He can drive, he can pull, when he blocks down on a defensive line, everyone feels it.
Here’s an example of his ability to collapse a defensive line. He is at right tackle in both clips, and check out how on the first play he doesn’t just block down, he then comes off and chips on a linebacker.
Wray is asked to do a lot because he can do a lot. Here’s another play where he gets two defenders for the price of one.
As a run blocker in a spread offense, Wray can hold his own thanks to his size, strength, and range. He doesn’t get lost in space, and when he pulls, he makes the most of his momentum.
You can see the potential in every clip above. Max Wray isn’t just a run blocker, isn’t just a pass blocker, isn’t just an in-the-box guy. He has already dipped his toe in so much of what Ohio State is going to ask him to do.
Wray will be seeing much better pass rushers this spring and will learn a whole bunch more about pass blocking at that time. Given his skill set and athleticism, however, he should soak the lessons up and become a much better player by fall camp.
He wouldn’t be at Ohio State if he didn’t have the potential to become a very good tackle, and nothing in his highlights would seem to counter this thought.
Here are a few more clips that show his overall game.
Max Wray enrolled early, so the expectations are for him to compete for the open right tackle spot in the spring. Now, the expectations aren’t for him to win the job, but to at least put his hat in the ring. Wray will be competing with the likes of sophomore Thayer Munford, redshirt juniors Branden Bowen (possibly) and Josh Alabi, and perhaps redshirt senior Malcolm Pridgeon. We don’t really know what is going to happen with Bowen this spring, so the entire right side of the line will be in a bit of a flux, and flux is sometimes where freshmen can shine.
The Bottom Line
Max Wray is a versatile offensive lineman who has been asked to do a lot in his high school career. Those demands will only get larger in college, but he has shown the ability to answer the call each step of the way. Thayer Munford made it into the two-deep at right tackle as a true freshman last season, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Wray do the same thing in 2018.
Buckeye Football Freshman Focus