If Ohio State’s new basketball coach, Chris Holtmann, has proven one thing since his arrival, it's that he knows how to recruit. This comes as a breath of fresh air for Buckeye Nation as the program’s last few recruiting classes struggled to meet expectations.
After bringing in the top recruiting class in the Big Ten in 2017, Holtmann and the Buckeye coaching staff have switched their focus towards next year’s class, and the program is off to a good start.
Ohio State already has one verbal commitment in its 2018 recruiting class in three-star shooting guard Torrence Watson. The team learned Monday they are still in position to land a few other top-rated recruits in next year’s class.
4-star PF includes Ohio State in top 8
It has been a busy summer for Colin Castleton (Daytona Beach, FL/Father Lopez Catholic) who has received eight scholarship offers in the last three months and has begun to visit some of the programs showing interest in him.
The four-star power forward has acquired more than 20 scholarship offers throughout his recruitment and has the difficult decision of choosing the one school that will set him up best for his desired future. Castleton appears to be getting closer to making a decision as he has narrowed down his impressive offer list to just eight schools.
Included in his top eight were Florida, Florida State, Baylor, Notre Dame, Illinois, Michigan, Purdue, and Ohio State.
On top of finalizing the eight schools he will remain focused on through the rest of his recruitment, Castleton has also started planning his official visits. While he has had plenty of opportunities to check out hometown schools Florida and Florida State, he has now scheduled official visits for Illinois and Xavier.
Interestingly, Xavier was not included in Castleton’s top schools, despite having a visit scheduled.
The fact that Ohio State made Castleton’s cut speaks volumes about Holtmann’s recruiting abilities. The prospect has had little to no reported recent communication with the Buckeye basketball program, yet the team is still in the running for his services.
Castleton is one of the best recruits in next year’s class. The 247Sports Composite Rankings currently have him listed as the No. 29 PF and the No. 108 recruit in the entire class.
It will be important for Holtmann to get Castleton on campus if the Buckeyes are serious about acquiring his services.
3-star SF includes Ohio State in top schools
Castleton wasn’t the only blue-chip prospect to include Ohio State in his top schools Monday as small forward Jaedon LeDee (Houston, TX / The Kinkaid School) also listed the Buckeyes as one of his top eight remaining schools.
Included in his list were Ohio State, UCLA, Texas A&M, LSU, Iowa State, Houston, California and Oklahoma.
Julius Kim of elevatehoops.com spoke with the three-star SF Monday and he spoke on the eight schools he will focus on throughout the rest of his recruitment.
When speaking on Ohio State, Ledee said, “Ohio State has a new staff and has been on me since they were at Butler. They want me to come in and be an impact guy. A lot of their offense runs thru the four, which is great.”
LeDee is treating his recruitment in a similar fashion to that of Castleton’s. Like Castleton, LeDee is also finalizing official visits to schools to ensure he makes the right decision regarding his future.
Those scheduled are Ohio State on Sept. 9, California on Sept. 16, LSU on Sept. 30 and his final scheduled visit is UCLA on Oct. 16.
LeDee will likely wait until all of these visits have been completed before moving to the next step in making his decision and setting a timeline for his announcement.
Keep up with Land-Grant Holy Land as we will be sure to bring you more updates following these visits.
Ohio State offers 4-star SF
Holtmann and co. continued to focus on the 2018 recruiting class by sending out a scholarship offer to one of the top recruits in the class. Late Sunday night, Ohio State offered four-star small forward Keyontae Johnson (Oak Hill, WV/Oak Hill).
Johnson is currently seen as the No. 24 SF in the country and the No. 97 overall recruit in the class.
Blessed to receive a offer from Ohio State pic.twitter.com/jmv25vdOD9— Keyontae (@keyontaejohnso1) August 20, 2017
Johnson’s athletic ability has led him to acquiring a total of 16 scholarship offers, including the likes of Providence, UConn, Georgia Tech, Kansas, SMU, NC State, Florida, Wake Forest, Pitt, and Vanderbilt, among others.
He has yet to schedule any upcoming visits, so there is little to go on in projecting his top schools. Providence is the lone school to earn a Crystal Ball Projection from 247Sports but there will likely be more to come as the school’s lead over the pack isn’t that far ahead.
Expect Holtmann and the Buckeyes to do their best in securing a visit from Johnson as this will be Ohio State’s best chance in getting a commitment.
Ohio State offers 4-star CB
Switching over to the gridiron, Ohio State has already acquired 16 verbal commitments in its 2018 recruiting class. Because of this, there are only a handful of spots remaining and Urban Meyer and the rest of the Buckeye coaching staff have started switching their focus towards the 2019 class.
Following in this direction, the Buckeyes offered one of the top cornerbacks in next year’s class yesterday in Erick Young (Richmond, TX/Bush).
Despite only having two years of high school football under his belt, Young has shown enough already to start earning scholarship offers from some of the top programs in the country.
Along with Ohio State, Young holds offers from Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, and TCU, with many more to follow. The four-star CB is seen as the No. 22 CB in the class, along with being the No. 263 overall recruit in next year’s class.
While these numbers may seem low for an Ohio State target, Young has had several strong showings in camps this summer which has led to the influx in offers. If he is able to meet the expectations that he has set for himself after an impressive summer, expect his ranking to rise as quickly as his offer count.
Ohio State commit earns 5th star
With the recent update in Rivals.com top 100 prospects, multiple Ohio State commits saw their stock either rise or fall, but one future Buckeye benefited more than the others as linebacker commit Teradja Mitchell (Virginia Beach, VA/Bishop Sullivan) earned his fifth star.
Along with the fifth star, Mitchell also moved up to the No. 15 overall recruit in the class. In total, nine future Buckeyes were included in the Top 100 including:
- No. 15 five-star ILB Teradja Mitchell
- No. 18 five-star QB Emory Jones
- No. 21 five-star DT Taron Vincent
- No. 27 four-star APB Jaelen Gill
- No. 31 four-star DE Brenton Cox
- No. 34 four-star RB Brian Snead
- No. 35 four-star DB Jaiden Woodbey
- No. 83 four-star TE Jeremy Ruckert
- No. 94 four-star ILB K’Vaughan Pope
- Ohio State four-star CB commit Sevyn Banks announced he will participate in the Under Armour All-American game.
- Four-star OT Quinn Carroll is expected to visit Ohio State on Sept. 9 for the Oklahoma game.