Heading into the final days of February, it's been quite the month to remember in recruiting for Ohio State. In addition to bringing in OSU's second class of the Urban Meyer-era, the Buckeyes saw a Sunday in which they received three class of 2014 commits in a stretch of about an hour...only to have one of them decommit just over 48 hours later.
Of course things haven't been quite as frantic for Thad Matta and the basketball Bucks. After landing two potential future stars in class of 2014-ers Keita Bates-Diop and Jae'Sean Tate this past fall, Matta, Jeff Boals, and company seemed content to keep things on the down low unless the right opportunity presented itself. In a rather off the radar move, the men's basketball Buckeyes added raw, but high ceilinged forward David Bell earlier this month. the big man became the third commit in the Buckeyes' 2014 basketball recruiting class.
But jumping back to the inaugural commit for the 2014 class, Keita Bates-Diop, the 6-7 power forward from Illinois, chose the Buckeyes over the likes of homestate Illinois, Louisville, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Marquette, oh, and some team that just lost to previously 0-14 in conference play Penn State, Michigan. But while the Nittany Lions were busy making the magic happen on the hardwood, so too was Bates-Diop. Bates-Diop hit a tough game winner against in-city rival Bloomington High to give his University High School a 55-53 win on Wednesday. I imagine just about any Buckeye basketball fan would take a buzzer beater on demand from a precocious big in a heartbeat.
You can watch Bates-Diop do his thing above.
Shifting back to the gridiron, the big news of Wednesday afternoon was that Ohio State had offered 4-star Palm Bay, Florida defensive tackle, Travonte Valentine. Valentine has offers from just about all the big players nationally: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, you name it. Our Charles Doss caught up with Valentine, who had this to say about the big OSU offer:
Newly offered 2014 DT Travonte Valentine tells me he found out about the #OhioSt offer through his coach & it feels great to have it.— Charles Doss (@CDoss_LGHL) February 27, 2013
In more 2014 news, the combined efforts of Kerry Coombs, Urban Meyer, and Tom Herman have paid further dividends, with 5-star CB Tony Brown now planning to take an official visit to Ohio State ($). The 8th overall prospect in the entire '14 class per the 247Composite Rankings (also the second best corner and the best player on the state of Texas) doesn't know specifically his future plans in terms of recruitment, but has Ohio State as his only sure fire official on the books at this moment in time. Being in the pole position on a consensus 5-star stud like Brown is never a bad thing for a closer like Meyer.
LGHL's Ian Cuevas briefly mentioned yesterday that Ian Bunting, a 4-star TE from Illinois, was also a new Ohio State offer ($). Purdue offered Bunting this past weekend, but in a wild 24 hours after, he also found himself on the receiving end of offers from Ohio State, Nebrsaka, and Minnesota. Given his rapidly growing offer list, the 10th best player in the state of Illinois in the 2014 class appears to have both a leader and a legend's pedigree. We'll have to see which B1G side can seal the deal.