With the early signing period quickly approaching, Ohio State has seemingly finished off their 2019 basketball recruiting class, as moments ago, Illinois power forward E.J. Liddell announced his commitment to Ohio State on a livestream on Twitter.
Liddell joins five-star point guard D.J. Carton and four-star small forward Alonzo Gaffney in what is now one of the best classes in school history. For those keeping score at home, in the 16 months since he was hired, Chris Holtmann has now taken Ohio State to a second place finish in the Big Ten, a five seed in the NCAA tournament, landed a top 30 class in 2018, and now, added three blue-chip recruits to what should be an already loaded 2019-2020 roster. That’s pretty dang good.
Liddell comes to Ohio State as the 48th ranked player in the 2019 class, the tenth best power forward, and the top player in Illinois according to 247Sports. He was recruited heavily by Ohio State for months, picking up an offer back in January, visiting Columbus twice, and hosting Chris Holtmann back in February.
This serves not just as a big win for Ohio State in general, but also a direct victory over Illinois and Missouri, the other schools in his final three. Both schools are much closer to his hometown, and could offer plenty of playing time early on. Liddell was sold on Ohio State’s program and Holtmann’s coaching ability though, and to see that win out is a huge deal for Ohio State.
With this pledge, Ohio State leaps into the top five in the 2019 class rankings, all the way from 13th up to fourth, just ahead of Villanova, and a little more than a point behind Kentucky and Louisville. Not bad for a program that went 17-15 just two seasons ago.
Land-Grant Holy Land will have more on this commitment shortly.