2024 OL Deontae and Devontae Armstrong fight for Ohio State offer
Deontae and Devontae Armstrong are both extremely competitive.
Both want to be the best performer on the offensive line. Both want to beat each other on the basketball court and in the weight room, adding trash talk along the way.
Both even battle to see who can get up the stairs fastest.
“Me, of course,” Deontae Armstrong said without hesitation. “I think he might disagree.”
“It’s definitely me,” Devontae Armstrong answered.
A competitive nature is not the only thing Deontae and Devontae Armstrong share. Both are identical twin brothers heading into their junior seasons at St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio as starters on the offensive line at right tackle and left guard, respectively.
Both have shared identical recruitments, earning the same 11 offers: Akron, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kent State, Kentucky, Miami (Ohio), Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Toledo.
And both grew up watching Ohio State, something Deontae Armstrong couldn’t help but remember when he and his twin brother worked out during the Buckeyes’ recruiting camp this June with offensive line coach Justin Frye.
“Being a Buckeye fan all my life, I mean, looking at it from the outside in and now from the inside out, working with the coaches, talking with Ryan Day, it means even more knowing the coaches and the coaching staff,” he said.
At this point, earning all the same offers, Devontae and Deontae Armstrong are a package deal. But both know that there may be a day where that may change.
Both have different strengths, Devontae Armstrong said, knowing that a program may need a left guard instead of a tackle, and vice versa. Maybe one sees something in a school that the other doesn’t, Deontae Armstrong admitted, something he won’t compromise just to be with him.
But both of the Armstrong brothers see that potential in Ohio State, ever since Frye made the 134-mile drive to watch both of them work out.
“It started in the weight room a lot,” Deontae Armstrong said. “Seeing him pop up in the weight room at St. Eds, him watching me lift, it means a lot, and watching us run. It’s kind of like a ‘get to know him’ before we had this hands-on coaching that we did here at the camp. That’s all relationship building. I feel pretty strong about Coach Frye and our relationship.”
Devontae Armstrong knows he’s built differently than Deontae, coming in at about 280 as a guard compared to his brother’s 275. But what the Ohio State offensive line coach likes about both is their knowledge of each position, having the ability to switch between guard and tackle if need be.
“We can really flip flop back and forth if need be,” Devontae Armstrong said. “We’re really good at both left guard and right tackle. It’s kind of just being able to play both inside and out is important and what Coach Frye really likes.”
Both had different focuses with Frye on the practice field at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
Devontae Armstrong’s focus was more on hand placement, being violent with his hands at the line of scrimmage, while Deontae Armstrong, at tackle, was focused on footwork midsteps and stances.
Each of these things were not new to either of the Armstrong brothers. It’s the little things they emphasize: small things that equal out to big things later on.
It’s something Ben Roebuck, a teammate of the Armstrong brothers at St. Edward, is used to.
The 2024 four-star lineman is starting opposite Deontae Armstrong at left tackle, and is already getting a lot of attention on the recruiting trail, holding offers from much of the Big Ten: Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Nebraska, Penn State and Rutgers, among others.
“He can give us pointers just like I can give my brother pointers,” Deontae Armstrong said. “He has a little more experience on the recruiting trail, so I mean he helps me out in terms of recruiting and on the field. Him being a left tackle and me a right tackle, we go hand-in-hand as far as technique. Our relationship with Ben is pretty strong.”
The Armstrong brothers have been on the road a bit too, coming off a visit and camp at Pittsburgh with the intention of heading to Penn State June 29 to continue to build their self-described “close relationship” with head coach James Franklin.
But the Buckeyes still have a place in both of the Armstrong brothers’ hearts, something that both will continue to be competitive enough to get the attention of Day, Frye and the rest of the program.
“Just watching Ohio State all our life and just meeting the coaches and establishing a relationship with the coaches, it’s surreal,” Devontae Armstrong said.