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5-star point guard makes official visit to Ohio State

If Carton commits to the Buckeyes, this may be the biggest signing yet in the Chris Holtmann era.


It’s been a pretty good week in the world of Ohio State Buckeyes athletics. On the football front, another commitment was sealed up on Tuesday when Kane Patterson made it known that he wanted to be a member of the Scarlet and Gray. Then, on Wednesday, CBS unveiled its ‘Best in College Sports’ award for the 2017-18 season—and OSU took home that honor.

But Wednesday also brought some good news on the recruiting trail.

A 5-star arrival

It was mentioned on Monday that five-star point guard DJ Carton (Bettendorf, IA / Bettendorf) listed a top three of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio State. The Wolverines are seen as the favorite—landing a consensus on the 247sports crystal ball. Even though all 12 of those predictions think John Beilein’s program will be the one that Carton commits to, you can’t count out the Buckeyes.

After taking official visits to Indiana and UM in June, Carton made the trek to Columbus for an official visit to see what Chris Holtmann and the Buckeye program are all about.

It can’t be repeated enough: A Carton commitment to OSU would be a game changer. He’s slated as the 21st best prospect in his class, the second best PG, and the best recruit out of Iowa. If Alonzo Gaffney and DJ Carton are the key components of the 2019 recruiting class, combined with experienced upperclassman and Holtmann and the helm, then it wouldn’t be too wild to think Ohio State has a real shot for a national title in 2020.

What the basketball Buckeyes have going for them is the fact that they are part of The Ohio State University, and that Holtmann proved that he can turn the program around in a short time—and get guys to the NBA Draft. The final year of the Thad Matta era saw the wheels basically fall off the wagon, as the team missed the NCAA Tournament and NIT, and saw a mass exodus of talent transfer out. Holtmann exceeded expectations last year by advancing to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, with the cherry on top being Keita Bates-Diop getting drafted to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Michigan has a stronger case for on-court production, as Beilein just led the Wolverines to another Final Four and had one of his former players (Moritz Wagner) get drafted to the Los Angeles Lakers. Indiana missed expectations last season in Archie Miller’s first year in charge, but he’s turned things around on the recruiting trail—and the Hoosiers appear to be growing confidence in the eyes of Vegas for a title run this season.

Either way, once this visit to OSU ends, Carton’s decision may not take long. All three of the schools have had Carton on campus, so they’ve each laid out how he fits into their respective program. Does it help that Ohio State is the last of the three for a visit? That remains to be seen. But the Buckeyes have a chance at landing a five-star talent—so expect an all out effort from Holtmann and the staff to secure his commitment.

Looking into the crystal ball

While the football team is still keeping an eye out for more recruiting commitments, some recruiting experts took to the 247sports crystal ball to cast updates. Good news for OSU: a handful of analysts have a 2019 defensive tackle trending toward the Scarlet and Gray.

Three-star D’Von Ellies (Owings Mills, MD / McDonogh School) is that prospect. He’s graded by the 247sports composite as the 414th best in the class, 27th best DT, and the seventh best recruit out of Maryland. Don’t let the three-star status fool you; over 20 programs have made offers, including West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Additionally, the 6-foot-2, 280-pounder will take part in the 2019 Polynesian Bowl.

There is still plenty of time left in his recruitment, but it’s always good to see OSU trending well in the pursuit for the stars of tomorrow.