CINCINNATI — Elder senior tight end Joe Royer announced Tuesday night he’s given a verbal commitment to Ohio State.
Royer, who is 6-feet-5-inches and 225 pounds, is the area’s fifth player to give a pledge to the Buckeyes in the 2020 class.
“He’s very athletic, (has) great hands and knows how to use his body and is very competitive,” Elder coach Doug Ramsey said. “Joe will be a very difficult 1-on-1 matchup for us because of his size. I expect Joe to have a big year because of that.”
Royer is the second area player to verbally commit to the Buckeyes in the last four days. Princeton senior defensive end Darrion Henry announced his commitment to Ohio State June 29.
Royer, a first-team all-Greater Catholic League South division player in 2018, is the third Elder player in the 2020 class to make a college commitment, joining James and offensive lineman Luke Kandra (Louisville).
He had 32 receptions for 617 yards and five touchdowns for the Panthers (8-5) last season. He also played basketball for Elder last season and averaged 4.3 points and 3.7 rebounds.
Royer is rated the state's No. 2 player overall in the 2020 class by 247 Sports and the nation's No. 3 tight end.
Elder has not had two football players commit to Ohio State for football in the same class in the modern era, according to former longtime athletic director Dave Dabbelt and longtime assistant coach Craig James, the father of Jakob James.
ScoutingOhio.com director Mark Porter was impressed with Royer this summer.
“He had crazy good hands when I watched him, and he was going up and making plays high pointing the ball,” Porter said. “He’s very physical and fast.”
Official Ohio High School Athletic Association practice starts Aug. 1. Elder opens the season Aug. 30 at Gahanna Lincoln. The Panthers are home against Indianapolis Cathedral Sept. 6.
Royer was the second area player to make a verbal commitment Tuesday after Lakota West linebacker Daved Jones committed to UC.
The NCAA Division I early signing period for football is Dec. 18.