When offensive lineman Enokk Vimahi sent in his Letter Of Intent to Ohio State this month, he became the first Buckeye football player from Hawaii since punter Scott Terna in 1994.
And sophomore defensive tackle Tommy Togiai is the first player from Idaho to ever play for OSU.
They are just part of a trend of Ohio State recruiting nationally, and not just close to home.
The 2019 Buckeye team has players from 23 different states, from Hawaii to Florida, and New York to Nevada.
But there are 10 states that no Ohio State football player has ever come from – at least going back to 1960.
OSU head coach Ryan Day is a native of Manchester, New Hampshire. But there is no record of a scholarship player ever coming to the Buckeyes from that state.
The New England region isn’t exactly a high school football hotbed. So it’s probably not surprising that there has never been a Buckeye from Vermont or Rhode Island, either. And the only one from Maine was a walk-on.
Other places not exactly known for pumping out 5-star football talent, like Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota, also make the Zero OSU Players list.
But so does football-crazy Nebraska.
And OSU hasn’t had much luck pulling talent out of certain spots in the deep south.
No player has come to Columbus from Louisiana in more than a decade. It’s been close to 30 years since a player joined the Buckeyes from Mississippi, and nearly 40 years since they added someone from Alabama.
That doesn’t seem too crazy until you realize that more than 20 percent of OSU’s 2019 roster – 18 players – are from neighboring Florida, Georgia, and Texas.
A few notes: The players included in the search are those who appear on the official yearly rosters from Ohio State, and based on their listed hometowns. OSU’s online archives of rosters only goes back to 1960.
Recruiting was a much more regional game at that point. Only 11 players on that 1960 roster were from outside of Ohio, and 10 of them were from the neighboring states of Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
So there likely aren’t many natives of Wyoming or Alaska hiding in the pre-1960 archives. But that 1960 team also included halfback Richard Haupt from Sumner, Iowa. He is the most recent Buckeye to come from the Hawkeye State.
Players listed below are the most recent scholarship players from that state or country, with the exceptions of Maine and Nigeria. The Buckeyes have had walk-ons from those places, but never a scholarship player.
Kevin Johnson was listed as a Washington, D.C. native on the 1996 roster, but a Maryland native in 1997. He is listed below, but the last full-time D.C. Buckeye was Marcus Spriggs in 1995.
OSU is currently recruiting several top prospects from the nation’s capitol in the 2020 class, so that could change in less than a year.
They already have commitments from 2020 recruits in Arizona and the state of Washington, places where they haven’t had a scholarship player since 2000 and 1998, respectively.
If you know of a player who we missed, please let us know where they’re from and when they played in the comments. And if you want to dig through the old rosters yourself, you can find the 1960 Ohio State football roster here. Then just change the year in the URL to find the one you want.
|Alabama||Willie Salter (walkon)|
|District of Columbia||Kevin Johnson||1996|
|Maine||Peter Gwilym (walkon)||2014|
|New Jersey||Chris Chugunov|
|New York||Blake Haubeil|
|North Carolina||Jaden McKenzie||2019|
|South Carolina||Michael Hill||2017|
|South Dakota||Grant Schmidt||2015|
|West Virginia||R.J. Coleman||2005|
|Nigeria||Chris Ntukogu (walkon)||1988|
|South Africa||Ryan Pretorius||2008|