In the following sections, I summarize Mewhort’s brief recruitment period before discussing what he brings to the Buckeyes looking forward. Afterwards, I discuss miscellaneous idiosyncrasies about Jack that defy quantification elsewhere.
High School: Toledo St. John’s; Toledo, Ohio
His Recruitment: Though Jack had a 7 day stretch between his offer and his commitment in late December 2007, Ohio State was aware of Jack as early as his sophomore year. Jim Tressel was up in Toledo for general activities and a rumor circulated that he was coming by Jack’s Toledo St. John’s HS, which Jack thought was surprising because he didn’t think there were any Ohio State-caliber players on the roster. Suffice to say, Jack was doubly surprised when he was summoned by his HS coach because Jim Tressel wanted to meet him.
The impression Jack left may have mattered as he became a frequent guest during the 2007 season, his junior year. Jack, with offers from only Toledo and Bowling Green in tow, was a guest of the Buckeyes at the Akron and Michigan State games during the 2007 season. However, Jack resides in a battleground city between the Buckeyes and the Wolvereenies. Accordingly, he was also being courted by Michigan in the same vein. He attended the 2007 opener against, yes, Appalachian State and also was a guest at the Notre Dame v. Michigan game from that same season. Early into his recruitment, Jack was torn between the two rivals as both programs represent well locally.
However, Jack wasn’t too torn.
“And I do like Michigan. I’ve been there four or five times. I like it up there, but I like Ohio State a lot more.”
The reason given by Jack was rather straightforward. He liked Jim Tressel, he loved the Buckeyes, he liked the respect he was afforded when he was a guest there and he liked how Jim Tressel makes time to talk with all guests in attendance. Ohio State, for its part, was becoming more interested in him. By late October 2007, he was already being discussed publicly as a candidate for an early offer. By December 2007, Bollman began making visits to his high school and even invited Jack to a bowl practice.
On December 21st, 2007, Jack was informed that he had a scholarship offer from Ohio State. The matter by which he was informed is interesting. The scholarship was actually extended on Tuesday, December 18th when the coaching staff called his HS coach to let him know that an offer for his young lineman was coming. However, the coaching staff told him not to let him know until after his winter exams were finished because they did not want to be a distraction. After Jack concluded his final exam, his HS coach summoned him to his office and informed him of the good news. Fortuitous timing made the news as informed by his coach and the arrival of the scholarship offer in the mail coincide. After telling him about the offer, Jack’s coach told him to look in the mail when he got home. Amidst the mailers from Michigan, Michigan State and Wake Forest lay a sealed envelope from Ohio State, with a scholarship offer sealed inside.
Mewhort was understandably geeked out and called Jim Bollman immediately. It was basically an early Christmas present. Bollman assured him of the offer and that the philosophy behind the early offer was that Jack can approach the remainder of his recruitment knowing he has that bird in the hand.
However, Jack didn’t mince words in discussing the prospects of the duration of his recruitment.
“I don’t want to be too hasty, but I’m pretty sure Ohio State is where I’m going to end up.”
He expressed interest in looking at Northwestern (who offered that same week as well). Yet, how long would it take for him to eventually commit?
His Commitment: It wasn’t a question of if, but when. “When” became 7 days later, when Mewhort’s commitment to Ohio State went public. The impetus behind the early commitment was a breakfast with his dad, when Jack told his dad that he couldn’t conceal his preference anymore: he had to commit to Ohio State. The reasons given by Jack for the commitment are fairly standard for good Ohio kids1. Jack loved the facilities, loved the coaches and understood that, as an Ohio kid, Ohio State is where he aspires to be.
Jack’s verbal pledge was the 4th in the 2009 class and sandwiched in between John Simon’s and Adam Homan’s respective pledges. Simon committed 2 days before Jack and Adam’s pledge went public momentarily after Jack’s commitment went public.
Where He Excels: Jack is a long, tall glass of water and a candidate for any line position at the next level. For the Buckeyes, he looks to be the post-Brewster center, as center was his position in high school since his sophomore year. Guard is also a probable destination and Bollman will apparently want him to start his career thinking about playing right tackle before moving inside as he gets bigger. I have not read any measured statistic on his wingspan because it looks like a wingspan fitting of a basketball player. Long, active arms can be helpful in dictating the terms of engagement between he and a defensive lineman and they are really helpful in establishing a bigger area that defensive linemen must move around in order to get into the backfield.
Jack has 3 years of starting experience as a center, but it was still a pleasant surprise to see how efficiently he executes the shotgun snap. There’s no wasted motion on the mechanics of the snap and no wasted time in that ball getting to the quarterback. Such efficiency affords Mewhort the time and presence to scan downfield pre-snap and post-snap and look for defenders to plant into the turf. The offense for his team looks that much quicker accordingly.
I’m not sure if the combo block or the down block might be his best blocking technique. Nevertheless, he pulls and gets downfield with the best of them. He is also no slouch on a fill block either.
If we privilege alliteration as Buckeye fans, we should be equating the last name “Mewhort” with “mauler”. The aggression is really nice.
Must Work On: I know I keep saying this for most offensive line prospects, but Jack should play a little lower at the next level. If he gets this part down soon, he should be in great shape going forward. His first step is already great. I don’t know the ins and outs of his high school team, but most things I read about his on-field capabilities characterizes Jack as raw talent with considerable upside. This is interesting considering Jack is a 4-star Under Armour All-American. I’m not sure if this means that his HS team conditioned him into doing things a certain way, which he has since mastered, but necessarily limits him from other things that Ohio State will throw at him. Supporting this is the absence of clips observed of him partaking in a center-QB exchange.
Redshirt? Jack addressed this issue. Apparently Bollman let him know that if he doesn’t see the field by the 4th game of 2009, the Buckeyes are going to redshirt him. We’ll see if this happens.
Highlights: Junior year, courtesy of Scouting Ohio.
- Jack will wear no. 74 for Ohio State, indicating that Mike Adams has assumed no. 75 with the graduation of Alex Boone.
- Jack has mentioned that he has little to no interest in playing for the NFL. He fully understands the probability of playing in the NFL is rather small, that his last season at Ohio State will likely be his last season of football and that he would be wise to think about getting a degree. Presently, he thinks that degree will be in business.
- He strained his ACL his senior season but still played in all but one game his senior season. Fortunately, the injury will not require surgery and it will be fully healed for spring football.
- Jack was one of 5 future Buckeyes playing in this year’s Under Armour All-American game. He joined Duron Carter, Jaamal Berry, CJ Barnett and Melvin Fellows, Safari Planet in Orlando.
- While not quite the enthusiast that Brewster was, apparently Jack has an affinity for the ins and outs of Buckeye coverage as well. He’s indicated that he follows up on the Buckeyes from the same places we all frequent. It makes me wonder if he’ll read this…
- Shortly after his commitment went public, Jack received a message from an unrecognized number and area code. It was Michael Brewster to congratulate him and welcome him to the fold.
- The attitude exhibited by Jack is impressive. He has full confidence in Jim Tressel and Jim Bollman to make him the best he can be and concedes that any failure on the field is reducible to him (Mewhort) and him alone.
- Jack seemed to indicate a few times that he’s a bit of a jokester. He conceded that his teachers would probably first remark about that in the aforementioned chat with BSB Subscribers. He also admitted that when he was summoned to his coach’s office (to be informed about the Ohio State offer), he thought he was in trouble for saying something wrong in front of his teachers.
- Jack makes sure to listen to “TNT” by AC/DC before games.
As always, Jack Mewhort, consider yourself better known… or something.
- However patronizing that expression might be… [↩]