Joshua Padilla plans to bring 'Michael Myers' mentality to Ohio State offensive line

Joshua Padilla can be defined in one play, or so says his offensive line coach Cole Newsome.

The Wayne High School assistant remembers watching the then-sophomore offensive lineman line up at the 30-yard line against Miamisburg at home in the second game of the season.

“He took this kid all the way to the sideline and dumped him, buried him into the sideline,” Newsome said. “After that play, it was just like, ‘OK, he’s different.’

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“That was what just about every coach that I talked to had said. Like, ‘After we saw that, it was a done deal.’ ”

This is how Padilla was taught to play: take charge until you hear the whistle. It’s how his father and brother each played on Wayne’s offensive line before Padilla was a four-year starter for the Warriors.

And as he prepares to make the leap to join Ohio State football as an early enrollee in January, it’s the mentality Padilla intends to rely on at the next level.

“I love just being able to dominate someone like one-on-one,” Padilla said. “You have no one else helping you. Just knowing you’re the one that dominated them. Basically playing nasty, being a bully and basically just dominating.”

‘He’s your ace in the hole’

Even though, Joshua Padilla started as a defensive end and running back in youth football leagues, Mike Padilla had a notion that his son would be an offensive lineman just like him and his other son Jacob.

Mike Padilla was also able to guess at Joshua's future position based on his training on the wrestling mat.

“Wrestling is football in the offseason,” Mike said. “Technique-wise, you’re pushing another guy around that’s the same weight as you or bigger. You got to get lower, technique-wise. It makes the linemen stay lower, better bend, heavy hands.”

Aneesh Vyas of Lakota West is in a leg lock at the hands of Joshua Padilla of Wayne in the 285 pounds championship match at the OHSAA Division I District Wrestling Championships, March 6, 2021
Aneesh Vyas of Lakota West is in a leg lock at the hands of Joshua Padilla of Wayne in the 285 pounds championship match at the OHSAA Division I District Wrestling Championships, March 6, 2021

On the mat, Joshua Padilla shined, posting an 89-16 record across three seasons, placing twice at the state meet and finishing as the 2022 state runner-up at heavyweight.

Wrestling, to Padilla, is another one-on-one battle, like the one at each snap as an offensive lineman. His time on the mat helped him with his hand placement, balance and positioning to best counter each defensive lineman he faced.

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“That’s basically every single match,” he said. “You’re one-on-one with someone else, not having any help.”

In addition to wrestling, Padilla became what Newsome called the Warriors' "ace in the hole" by growing from a 6-foot-2, 240-pound freshman to a 6-foot-4, 280-pound force. He played alongside four-star tackle, now Notre Dame freshman Aamil Wagner, as well as three-star guard and Cincinnati commit Evan Tengesdahl.

“Third-and-three, if we’re going to lose a ball game, we’re going to lose a ball game going behind them,” Newsome said.

Justin Frye helps Joshua Padilla become a ‘perfectionist’

Padilla got the attention of Ohio State before Justin Frye was a member of the coaching staff.

The four-star lineman and No. 4 Ohio prospect in the 2023 class, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, remembers getting the call from offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, who handed the phone off to former offensive line coach Greg Studrawa to extend the offer.

It was Padilla’s first interaction with the Ohio State coaching staff.

But once Frye came on staff, Padilla’s relationship with the Buckeyes blossomed. Frye consistently checked in on the Wayne offensive lineman, who sent the new position coach film to get critiqued.

“That’s what I love about him,” Padilla said. “He’s young for an offensive line coach, which is good because he can show you what to do, give you tips. And his knowledge is crazy because he’s been an offensive coordinator, which is good because he knows all the game, which helps the offensive lineman.”

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Despite Padilla's role as a tackle at Wayne, Frye is likely to use Padilla inside, specifically at center.

Wayne 2023 Offensive Lineman Joshua Padilla And Ohio State Running Backs Coach Tony Alford
Wayne 2023 Offensive Lineman Joshua Padilla And Ohio State Running Backs Coach Tony Alford

Padilla said his goal will be to learn as much as he can from OSU third-year center Luke Wypler, seeing how he identifies a defense and different formations while continuing to work on his snapping and footwork.

“I hope to become what Luke Wypler is right now,” Padilla said.

Joshua Padilla is ready for challenge Ohio State brings

Each of Ohio State’s four offensive line commits – Padilla, Luke Montgomery, Austin Siereveld and Miles Walker – will enroll in the program in January.

Sep 3, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA;  Ohio State football offensive linemen recruits, from left, Joshua Padilla, Austin Siereveld and Luke Montgomery walk on the field prior to the NCAA football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State football offensive linemen recruits, from left, Joshua Padilla, Austin Siereveld and Luke Montgomery walk on the field prior to the NCAA football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

Padilla has been looking forward to that ever since becoming the first recruit to join the Buckeyes' 2023 class with his commitment on Nov. 4, 2021.

“This atmosphere is basically like one of a kind,” Padilla said. “The Ohio State brotherhood is unlike any other college I visited.

Newsome sees a lineman who will fit right in, calling Padilla one of the most “wholesome kids” he’s coached, while being “the definition of a giant teddy bear.”

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But when that whistle blows, when it’s time to dominate someone one-on-one, Padilla turns into something completely different.

“When he’s on the field, man, he’s like Michael Myers,” Newsome said, comparing Padilla to the maniacal killer from the "Halloween" movies. “When he steps inside that line and he’s going to come get you, he’s going to come get you like Mike Myers.”

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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Joshua Padilla prepares to make leap to Ohio State offensive line