It might not have required the best sales job for Ohio State to land Marysville linebacker Gabe Powers.
The top-ranked player in Ohio for the 2022 recruiting class and his family grew up as die-hard Buckeyes fans.
"You probably couldn’t find a family more dedicated or bigger fans than we were," Powers told The Dispatch after announcing his commitment Saturday night.
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"My whole family was my grandpa, my uncle, probably about 20 of us. My great-grandpa, for 20-some years he never missed a game. He was actually the one that led the chants they used to put up on the board. He would lead the O-H and everyone else would say I-O."
As inclined as Powers was to become a Buckeye, the Ohio State coaching staff, particularly linebackers coach Al Washington and head coach Ryan Day, still had to close the deal.
"The relationship we have with coach Washington and coach Day is phenomenal," Powers said. "I wouldn’t want to play for anybody else. The brotherhood, the tradition Ohio State has, talking with some of the other recruits, it’s where I feel love. And I’m very confident in my decision."
Powers, who’s listed at 6 feet 4 and 220 pounds, is ranked as the 45th overall prospect nationally in the 247sports.com’s composite rankings. He’s the second-ranked outside linebacker in the composite rankings and No. 1 in 247sports’ own ranking.
"He’s long and fast and a strong kid," Marysville coach Brent Johnson said. "I think he’s got a lot of body to grow into. He’s only going to get better, which is really good for the Monarchs because we have two years left with him, and really good for Ohio State."
Beyond Powers’ physical skills, Johnson praised his intelligence and instincts, his unselfishness and his loyalty. Powers switched to strongside linebacker last year after previously playing in the middle.
Powers said he now feels at home at that spot because he believes it suits his frame, athleticism and football IQ.
"He’s a very big ‘team’ player," Johnson said. "This is my first big-time recruit, but you wouldn’t know that; he doesn’t pound his chest about that. He knows he got his role on this team.
"He did that all year last year as a sophomore. He puts the team first. I totally respect that about him."
Johnson said Powers isn’t the type to renege on his commitment to Ohio State. Powers said the only thing that would cause him to reconsider would be a coaching change.
Powers’ father, Mike, is an assistant coach for Marysville. His brother, Michael, walked on at West Virginia and last week announced that he had entered the transfer portal.
Gabe Powers is the highest-ranked of the Buckeyes’ four-member 2022 class, joining fellow Ohioans Jyaire Brown, C.J. Hicks and Tegra Tshabola. Hicks is also an outside linebacker. Washington, the Buckeyes’ linebacker coach, is the primary recruiter on both.
"They’re looking for at least three great linebackers in this class, and I think they’ll probably end up going with four," Bucknuts recruiting expert Bill Kurelic said. "With (Powers) and Hicks, you’ve got two elite linebackers, two of the best in the country.
"Gabe is a great player and really an outstanding young man. Excellent student. Very mature. He’s just got a tremendously high ceiling."
Now Powers just has to hope he can have a junior season at Marysville. As of now, the Monarchs’ season is on. But the COVID-19 pandemic makes that tenuous.
"I’m concerned, but I think we’ll have it," he said. "We need to have it. If we don’t, I’m looking at going to another school out of state just to play football. I have no clue (where). I’m hoping it doesn’t happen."
Whatever uncertainty Powers might face now, he knows that in two years he’ll be at Ohio State.
"It’s always been a dream of mine," Powers said.