Josh and Justin Wick, brothers separated by two years on the Ohio State men’s golf team, enjoyed sports from a young age. But they never expected to become Division I athletes.
When Ohio State came calling it might have been a surprise to Josh, but his mom knew it was coming.
Then-Ohio State head coach Donnie Darr, now an assistant coach with the Oklahoma State golf team, asked to meet with the Wick brothers’ parents about extending Josh, the elder brother, an offer.
“The coach actually asked to meet with my husband and I outside of Josh just to make sure that if he extended Josh an offer would it be an issue with Justin,” Sarah Wick, the brothers’ mother said.
Justin was also highly regarded by the Buckeyes at the time, and Darr didn’t want Josh’s offer to cause Justin to press too hard and try to impress them.
However, he didn’t need to impress them with words. His talent spoke for itself
Justin described his high-school golf career as “full of ups and downs,” but, despite the rough patches, he was able to win the Central District Division I Player of the Year Award, which ultimately led to his offer from Ohio State two years after Josh received his offer.
Josh said he actually knew Justin was going to receive an offer a couple of hours before him and it was “awesome” to get the news.
Josh asked Darr at the time to offer Justin a scholarship because he wanted to attend college with his younger brother and knew he had several other opportunities.
Justin, a decorated golfer and lacrosse player, had many offers to play both sports in college.
“I played a large part in trying to persuade the coach to an extent to get him on the team and offer him a scholarship,” Josh said. “I really wanted him to be here and he had several other opportunities in other places, but I think he always wanted to play here.”
Josh and Justin’s mother, who is also a dietitian for Ohio State athletics, recalled her two sons playing any sport they could when they were young.
“They started golf at five or six, they played rec lacrosse, they did basketball, and football, so I mean … young,” Sarah said. “They always did sports.”
The boys grew up in Upper Arlington, a Columbus suburb.
As most brothers are, they were competitive with each other from a young age. Sarah reminisced about the two playing football against each other at the house.
“They played this little football game where they pretended the driveway was the touchdown and for some reason they got into a fight and sometimes it was verbal and sometimes they would actually just kind of wrestle around and I would literally just let them do it,” Sarah said. “They would fight it out and everything would be fine.”
Although the boys don’t wrestle to settle arguments anymore, they remain extremely competitive. Ohio State head coach Jay Moseley, who was hired in 2015, said the boys love to compete on a daily basis.
“They are super, super competitive,” Moseley said. “They push each other really, really hard and they do not like to lose at all to each other.”
Josh had pride in Ohio State growing up so close to the university and knew if the school came calling, he would commit.
“People would say that I am as crazy an Ohio State fan as they come and always wanted to go there,” Josh said. “Within my recruiting process, I definitely looked at other schools, but I always knew that once Ohio State came calling, that’s where I was going to go.”
Justin also said Ohio State was his favorite school and it was a “dream come true” to have the opportunity to play at the university he admired as a little kid.
For Josh, golf wasn’t really his first love, it was lacrosse. But as he began to play competitive golf in middle school, his love for the game took off.
As his game progressed into Josh’s high school years, he was pretty sure he would be able to become a Division I golfer, but Justin faced a few more challenges in high school.
“When I was a junior in high school, when you want to play well and show off for the colleges, I was not playing well at all,” Justin said. “There was a point in time where I thought that I wasn’t going to have a chance to play golf.”
But now, he’s doing it at the top collegiate level, not far from home — with his brother by his side.