As we gear up for the NFL draft, we're doing everything in our power to stay as informed as possible. Which means a lot of Googling — including information about Ohio State quarterback-turned ESPN football analyst Kirk Herbstreit. Fans are especially curious to know about his twin sons, Tye and Jake, who famously chose to join the Clemson Tigers over the Ohio State Buckeyes. A pretty big deal when both your dad and grandad played for the latter!
What to know about Kirk Herbstreit's sons.
Kirk Herbstreit has four sons: Chase, Zak, and the twins, Tye and Jake. Tye and Jake, whose involvement in football has been documented since their high school days, are the most talked-about since they won't be playing for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Meanwhile, Zak is graduating high school (Montgomery Bell Academy — the same school seemingly all the Herbstreit boys attended) this year, and Chase graduates in 2025.
According to 247 Sports, nobody is currently recruiting Zak (yet), although he does play football for Montgomery Bell Academy.
Meanwhile, although Chase has a while before he graduates high school, he's listed Ohio State as his favorite (he is not being recruited just yet).
Now, on to the twins. The reasons why they chose the Tigers over the Buckeyes knowing their family legacy was actually explained by Kirk back in 2018.
“They’re going there as preferred walk-ons and a big part of that has to do with the culture. As a dad and as a broadcaster, I’ve been lucky enough to get behind the scenes at Clemson the last few years. I’ve been blown away by the culture that Dabo has created. It’s not just Dabo. It’s the entire staff — the secretaries, the trainers, the team doctors, the SID. It’s different when you go to Clemson and you need to go there to really see it and understand it," Kirk told 247Sports.
He continued, "And that’s a credit to him and his leadership. Another mark of a great coach to me, whether you’re the start quarterback or just a guy trying to make the team, you’re treated the same. I think it goes back to his own experience at Alabama as a player. He runs his program through the eyes of that player who was at Alabama.”
Kirk told The State about how they learned of Clemson, saying, "When it came time to go to school, they just happened to go to a Clemson camp going into their senior year and did pretty well, and Dabo kind of kept an eye on them and stayed in touch with them and offered them an opportunity to be preferred walk-ons. They decided to take him up on it. It was really as simple as that.”
It's also likely that the Tigers just recruited the twins way harder than the Buckeyes. “Urban felt awful on the back end of that. He apologized quite a bit — he and the recruiting coordinator. But listen ... this is my kids’ lives and my kids’ path, and I would love to have seen them go to Ohio State, but I’m not going to tell them, ‘You have to go to Ohio State’ when Urban Meyer hasn’t offered you a preferred walk-on ... it wasn’t really an option," Kirk said.