Ohio State adds national championship experience with new recruiting class

Photo courtesy of Ohio State athletics

Multiple national champions will join the men’s volleyball program with the most NCAA titles during the 25-point rally scoring era.

Ohio State announced recently that high school seniors Grant Strong, Kyle Teune, Jason Kozak, Cole Young and Ben Braun all committed to join the Buckeyes beginning in the 2022 season.

“The ceiling of this class and the potential impact they could have on the program has our staff and student-athletes incredibly excited,” coach Kevin Burch said in a statement. “All five bring special talents to the court, along with high character that fits our Buckeye family perfectly. They understand the unique opportunity we have to be Buckeyes and they are passionate about making a lasting impact on our program’s tradition of excellence.”

Strong, a 6-foot-2 libero from Palm Harbor, Florida, was named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2018 USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships. In addition, Strong won a national title at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships in 2018 and was selected to the U.S. Men’s Junior A1 National Training Team earlier this year.

Teune, a 6-foot-6 outside attacker from Downers Grove, Illinois, helped his high school win a sectional and regional championship last year. The two-time team captain also was an all-state honorable mention in 2019.

Kozak, a 6-foot-6 middle attacker from Fremont, California, won a national championship with his club team in 2019. He also was named to the all-conference team in back-to-back seasons with his high school team.

Along with Kozak, Ohio State adds two 6-foot-10 middle attackers who both will be the tallest players on the Buckeyes roster.

Young, a middle attacker from Powell, Ohio, was an all-conference honorable mention last year. Braun, a middle attacker from Mirage, California, spent the last two seasons playing club volleyball with OOVC.

The Buckeyes in Burch’s first year as head coach finished the shortened 2020 season receiving votes in both the national coaches poll and national media poll.