Tavien St. Clair Ohio State Buckeyes Quarterback Commit
Football, Recruiting

‘Full Circle’ Moment As Tavien St. Clair Earns Elite 11 Finals Invite

Tavien St. Clair used to watch the highlights on YouTube of past Elite 11 competitions, imagining himself on the field competing against all of the other top quarterbacks in the nation but never knowing if he’d ever actually have the opportunity.

On Sunday in Upper Arlington at the Elite 11 Regional, he earned that opportunity.

It’s been years of hard work to get to this point, but along the way Tavien St. Clair has cleared milestone after milestone. From small-town quarterback to Ohio State commit to five-star prospect and now an invitation to the prestigious Elite 11 Finals this June in Los Angeles.

Soon, this small-town high school quarterback will be on the biggest individual stage a high school quarterback can find himself.

“It’s a great opportunity,” St. Clair said on Sunday. “Me and my family have talked about this month for a very long time. So just being able to come out here and do what I said I wanted to do, and do the things that I had been striving to do this this offseason, it is something really special that it’s gonna be a high point in my life for a long time.”

Full Circle

Speaking with reporters after earning the invite, Tavien St. Clair reminisced about watching those YouTube videos from years ago.

“How cool of an experience it would be and not necessarily knowing if I’d get the chance being from a small town, and now like it’s finally here, I think it’s just been a full circle kind of moment,” he said. “But it’s been really special.”

St. Clair is currently the No. 17 player in the 2025 class per the 247Sports Composite and the No. 4 quarterback overall. He was a First-Team All-State selection last year following school records 3,083 yards passing and 37 touchdowns.

The stats may tell you the results, but they don’t tell you how he got here.

“My desire, the love I have for the game of football is really strong,” he said. “Just being from a small town that I am, I want to put my home on the map and just show what great people there are there. I feel like that’s a way for me to do that. I’ve always wanted to be one of the best players in the country. And I’m gonna continue to try and be one of the best players in the country every time I step on the field.”

New Kid On The Block

Tavien St. Clair was offered by Ohio State head coach Ryan Day on May 29 of last year. He announced his commitment on June 21. Ten months later to the day, he earned his Elite 11 invite.

Those 10 months have been busy for St. Clair, but they’ve also been pretty busy for Ryan Day. Day brought in Bill O’Brien after the season to be the new quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. A few weeks later, O’Brien left and Day replaced him with UCLA head coach Chip Kelly.

St. Clair and Kelly have been building a strong relationship, helped by the fact that the high school junior has been sitting in on some of the quarterback meetings this spring.

“Yeah, he’s been great,” St. Clair said of Kelly. “I think he’s gonna do great things here in Columbus. He’s been a great add-on. In the few weeks, I’ve learned so much already, more than I have my entire football career just being in the quarterback meetings, so it’s gonna be really special in Columbus, for sure.”

St. Clair attended as many spring practices and meetings as he could. He now feels like a real part of the quarterback room, and he credits the Buckeye quarterbacks who are in the room right now. That includes redshirt sophomore Devin Brown and true freshman Air Noland, who were both on the field Sunday in support as past Elite 11 finalists.

“We have a really close relationship now,” he said of all the Buckeye quarterbacks. “I can text them, get a hold of them anytime. Ask questions, all that. It really is and has become a brotherhood now. And for them to come out to support me when I get my finals invite, like they had, it was really special. And I’m glad they came out in support and we can kind of build this brotherhood up even stronger.”

That brotherhood also supports St. Clair in the meetings when Chip Kelly tries to quiz him on a read or coverage.

“He tries to catch me off guard a little bit,” St. Clair said, “but I get help from some of the other quarterbacks if I don’t know the answer.”

Tavien St. Clair will be part of those meetings full-time in less than nine months, as he is planning on graduating early this winter and enrolling at Ohio State in January.

And by that point, who knows how many small-town quarterbacks will be watching his Elite 11 highlights on YouTube and wondering if one day they will have their own full-circle moment just like he did.

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