When offensive line coaches crisscross the country looking for offensive linemen, they are always on the watch for players who stand 6-foot-5 or taller.
Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier senior offensive lineman Rob Fogler matches that profile at 6-foot-7, 295-pounds, and received early scholarship offers from performances in camps from Toledo and Indiana along with interest from many other college programs before becoming a starter his senior season at one of the most competitive prep programs that consistently places players at the Division One college level.
We caught up with Fogler about his senior season, which finished in the second round of the OHSAA Division One, Region Four playoffs.
“My senior year was filled with ups and downs,” said Fogler. But, unfortunately, it started pretty rough as my offensive line coach, Coach Steve Carpenter, died of cancer during preseason camp.
“I grew a lot as a player, person, and leader. Going through something like that makes you grow up, as it was hard going through something like that and helping pull my teammates come together.”
Fogler, named a team captain for the Bombers, saw some early disappointments turn around by midseason.
“Around Week Five of the season, we added Coach (Alex) Sulfsted,” explained Fogler. “Coach Sulfsted played at Miami University and in the NFL and was brought in to help Coach (Doug) Littelmann. Working with Coach Sulfsted, I gained a lot of technique and little things from him. In addition, I gained a lot of experience playing tackle and guard this year, which helped me become a more versatile player.”
Fogler attended many camps the past few summers, with stops at Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Cincinnati, along with coming in contact at a few mega camps with many schools that have offered.
While Fogler put recruiting on the back burner this fall, he started to get out this week with a couple of game-day visits. We spoke with Fogler about those visits and where he currently stands with his recruitment.
“I visited Ball State this week when they played Ohio,” he continued. “I enjoyed the visit and found their facilities to be very new. The coaches made me feel like I was a priority while I was there.
“I had great conversations with Coach (Colin) Johnson, Coach (Kevin) Lynch, and head coach Mike Neu. I liked the interactions with Coach Johnson, and we’re working on setting up the date to make an official visit right now. So it looks like I’ll be visiting on the weekend of December 2nd.
“One of the small things my dad picked up on was early in the game as it was snowing. The Ball State offense was on the field for their first drive, and before his linemen came back to the sidelines, Coach Johnson wiped off the bench. I know it was a tiny thing he noticed, but it showed he’s a leader and cares about his guys.
“We also had a chance to drive around campus and were impressed with what we saw. So I’m looking forward to getting back, learning, and seeing more.”
The next night, Fogler continued with some Mid-American Conference action visiting Kent State.
“We went up for their game against Eastern Michigan,” Fogler continued. “It was great getting up there and reconnecting with Coach (Lee) Stalker, as I’ve spoken with him the most during my recruitment. So it was great seeing him and meeting Coach (Bill) O’Boyle, their offensive line coach. Their stadium was bigger than I expected, and driving around campus, we found it very nice. We’re working on the possibility of taking an official visit.
Another program Fogler has been in steady contact with is Buffalo.
“I’ve been talking with Buffalo and was hoping to visit,” said Fogler. “However, because of the weather they are expecting this weekend and Thanksgiving next weekend, I won’t be able to visit for a game.
“I’ve been talking with Coach (Matt) Stansfield, their offensive line coach, and Coach (Shane) Montgomery, who is good friends with Coach (Steve) Specht, my head coach. So depending on what happens and their interest, I might be interested in taking an official visit there.”
In closing our conversation, Fogler stressed where he currently stands with his recruitment.
“I’m open with my recruitment,” he said. “I chose to place my teammates and team ahead of my recruitment as a team captain. I know some schools might have already found guys, but I hope coaches understand and respect the importance I placed on being a team leader.”
The following are highlights from this season.