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Esa Ahmad commits to West Virginia after canceled Ohio State visits

One of the top players in the state of Ohio is headed to West Virginia instead of OSU after his planned visits to the school were canceled.

Though he was expected to meet in-home with Ohio State head coach Thad Matta yesterday with an official visit set for this coming weekend, Shaker Heights, OH forward Esa Ahmad instead committed today to Bob Huggins and the West Virginia Mountaineers. A Northeast Ohio source tells Land-Grant Holy Land Ohio State canceled both visits yesterday, contrary to media reports.

The 6'7, 218-pound Cleveland area power forward spurned interest from the in-state Buckeyes and newly minted Big Ten members Maryland in favor of the Mountaineers. Ahmad grades out as the ninth best forward, the 52nd overall player in the country, and the third best player from the state of Ohio, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Prior to making his decision, Ahmad had taken official visits to Maryland two weekends ago and had seen the school he ultimately committed to, WVU, last weekend.

Ahmad's father, Ibby, told Land-Grant Holy Land that no in-home visit ever occurred, as Matta just talked to the family over the phone on Tuesday. However, Matta was in the Cleveland area Tuesday, checking out Lakewood St. Edward forward Derek Funderburk, one of Ohio State's top priorities in the 2016 class.

Ohio State's roster math would allow for as many as three players over the next two classes, though it is believed that the Buckeyes only plan to use one of them. Texas forward Mickey Mitchell had occupied that scholarship, but decommitted several weeks ago. Mitchell joined 2015 Buckeye pledge Austin Granstaff in spite of the decommitment in Columbus this past weekend for an official visit and the Virginia Tech football game.

While many feel Ohio State is losing its grip on in-state talent, the Buckeyes stack up well at the position that Ahmad would have filled, as Marc Loving, Keita Bates-Diop, and Jae'Sean Tate project to be productive at either forward slot.

In addition to West Virginia having been recruiting Ahmad longer than any other school in contention for his services, the 6'7 Shaker Heights forward looks more able to make an immediate impact upon his arrival in Morgantown.