Surprising many on national signing day by flipping his commitment from Michigan State and signing with Ohio State, defensive end Darius Slade finally made his way to Columbus from Montclair, New Jersey to officially visit the campus for the first time.
"The official visit was by far the best visit I have been on," Slade told Land-Grant Holy Land. "The players are great and sitting down with the coaches was unbelievable. The facilities are top notch. From the dorms to the campus, it is the best I've seen," the 6'5 240-pound three-star prospect and last member of the class of 2014 recruiting class added.
While on his visit to Ohio State, Slade had the opportunity to get better acquainted with a number of Buckeye upperclassmen and his Dream '14 classmates. "My host was Tyquan Lewis. I hung out with so many of my teammates it was as if they were all my host," Darius said. "They took care of me there and I look forward to playing with those guys. I hung out with the early 2014 enrollees. It was great. It's a special class that I'm astounded to be apart of."
His future running mates aren't the only ones who had Darius looking forward to reaching campus; the OSU coaches also left a great impression. "Everyone on staff applauded me for taking an act of faith by signing without visiting. They're excited. I sat down with Coach Johnson and talked about the things and plans he has for me. It's going to be hard work but the best for me as well."
Man I love my school— Darius Slade™ (@Darius_Slade) February 23, 2014
Class of 2014 signee Jae'Sean Tate (shoulder) and 2015 commit Mickey Mitchell (back) might not be available for their Pickerington Central and Plano West (TX) teams due to injury, but a few of their future OSU teammates were back in action over the weekend.
In a nonconference matchup, Keita Bates-Diop and his 21 points weren't enough for University High (IL) to get past Proviso East, who held onto a 77-66 victory last Friday evening. Only needing one point to become the Pioneers all time leading scorer, Keita, and U-High (21-4) will end their regular season on Friday against Pontiac, giving the five-star forward another chance to put his name in the record books.
After being named first team all Northeast Ohio Conference, Dave Bell and his Garfield Heights teammates rolled past Strongsville, 76-63. Bell finished with nine points, while senior guard Chelvonte Montgomery led the Bulldogs with 23 in the win. Bell, Montgomery and Garfield Heights will take on the winner of Wednesday's John Adams-Madison game on March 1st.
Going over 1,000 points in his career, class of 2015 commit AJ Harris scored 11 and dropped five dimes in a 86-37 Dayton Dunbar win over a struggling Eaton High squad on Saturday. Harris and the Wolverines will continue to chase their State Championship dreams on Tuesday against Carlise at Trent Arena.
Thad Matta and the Buckeyes didn't just play host to Minnesota on Saturday but also a few talented recruits. Huntington Prep (WV) forwards Thomas Bryant (2015), Miles Bridges (2016) and class of 2017 guard Justin Roberts of Pike High School in Indianapolis all visited OSU for the Buckeyes victory over the Golden Gophers.
Bryant, a 6'10 230-pound five-star prospect, currently holds offers from OSU, Syracuse, Florida, West Virginia and Villanova, to name a few. Providence and West Virginia have offered his prep school teammate, Miles Bridges. Michigan State, Indiana and others are showing interest in the 6'5 standout just like Matta and the Buckeyes.
Only a freshman, Roberts is currently averaging nearly seven points and three assists a contest for Pike. Holding no offers at the moment, the Bucks, Indiana, Purdue, Kentucky, Michigan State and others are keeping a close eye on the 5'11 lead guard.
Check out these highlights of Roberts' first varsity game, where he dropped 18 points, seven assists and grabbed five rebounds:
Last night, Ohio State offered smooth 2015 four-star shooting guard Austin Grandstaff. A one time Oklahoma State verbal commit, Grandstaff, the 39th overall prospect in his class (according to the 247Composite), has had quite a few programs send a scholarship offer his way and show interest since he decided to open things up earlier this month.
Averaging 27 points per game so far this season for his Rockwall High (TX) squad, Austin is gaining his fair share of attention. Alabama, Arizona, Oregon, Oklahoma, Washington and UNLV are just a few of the teams the Buckeyes find themselves up against to land his services.
just heard from Coach Matta from Ohio State they offered 🏀 #Buckeyes— Austin Grandstaff (@AustinGstaff1) February 24, 2014
- Ohio State offered three star class of 2015 offensive lineman Venzell Boulware on Friday. The Georgia native told Land-Grant Holy Land that he is "very honored" to hear from the Buckeyes. See what else Boulware had to say about his chance to suit up for the Buckeyes and more.
- After visiting UCF on Friday, class of 2015 OSU commit, Ben Edwards tells our Miles Joseph that he is currently a soft verbal to the Buckeyes and will keep his options open even though they are his top choice.