When Luke Wypler was 14, he boarded an airplane alone and flew from New York to Australia to visit his older brother. Their adventures included skydiving in New Zealand.
Wypler has performed stand-up at a nearby comedy club.
In seventh grade, the 2020 Ohio State commitment said, he finished fifth in a statewide chess tournament in New Jersey.
Interesting guy, this Luke Wypler, the country’s top center prospect in 247Sports’ composite rankings.
“I like to be different,” Wypler said. “That’s the best way to put it. I kind of don’t like walking the same line as everyone else. If I see everyone going right, I want to see what’s on the left side.
“That’s kind of how I’ve always been. I like to (seek) adventure. I like to do crazy stuff. I’m an adrenaline junkie, to say the least. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how to tame it and take calculated risks, as my mom likes to call it.”
Ohio State is playing Rutgers on Saturday, but Wypler (pronounced Wipler) can’t attend. He’ll be playing for St. Joseph Regional, of Montvale, New Jersey, in the state quarterfinals against Paramus Catholic.
The 6-foot-3½, 285-pound Wypler has played right tackle most of this season. He played left tackle last year but switched to the right side because he had labrum surgery that required him to wear a brace that affected his stance. Now he’s playing center because the starter is injured.
Two weeks ago, St. Joseph defeated top-ranked St. Peter’s Prep, which features fellow Ohio State commitment Cody Simon at linebacker. Wypler and Simon are friends, and Wypler couldn’t resist taking a few playful verbal jabs at him while making his blocking calls.
“We had a great time,” he said. “It was my first start at center so I ID’d the linebackers and everything,” he said. “I was cracking jokes and kind of making fun of him.
“I kind of play loose. Yes, I have that anger and adrenaline pumping, but in the huddle when everyone sees me smiling and relaxed and not so tensed up, they’re like ‘Oh, we’re all right.’”
Though Ohio State recruited Wypler as a center, he considers his versatility a strength.
“I’m kind of like a Swiss Army knife,” Wypler said. “Wherever they want to throw me… If Justin Fields needs a little push at quarterback, I can slide in there, too.”
See, he is a comedian.
Wypler grew up playing multiple sports per season, with hockey, wrestling and rugby perhaps his favorites. His dad, Al, was an all-state football player. His mom, Michelle, was all-state in field hockey.
“I would say my athleticism and my knowledge of the game are two things that kind of separate me from my peers,” Wypler said.
So does his intelligence. He’s an honor-roll student who picked Ohio State over Stanford. He plans to study marketing at OSU.
“It was the first place I visited that I felt that, ‘Wow, I can do this here, this place is for me,’” he said.
Wypler said he has built strong friendships with Ohio State’s current young linemen and other 2020 commitments as well as offensive line coach Greg Studrawa.
“He gets who I am as a person and I get what he’s trying to build and what he’s trying to do with his offensive linemen,” Wypler said of Studrawa. “He really caters to what everyone’s about. He knows I like to ask a lot of questions and dive into X’s and O’s.”
Actually, Wypler would dive into pretty much anything.