As is usually the case this time of year, Ohio State football has dominated the headlines — both on the field and in the recruiting game. However, the script was flipped on Friday, as Chris Holtmann’s squad stole the show with the Buckeyes’ latest basketball commitment.
Four-star shooting guard Roddy Gayle Jr. has committed to Ohio State. Gayle Jr., out of Lewiston Porter Senior in New York, is the No. 7 SG in the country, the No. 1 player out of NY, and the No. 76 player in the 2022 class overall according to the 247Sports Composite.
2022 four-star Roddy Gayle Jr. has committed to Ohio State.— Tipton Edits (@TiptonEdits) November 13, 2020
Top-60 Prospect. pic.twitter.com/AKBNBxNjwh
With a total of around 18 offers, Gayle Jr.’s final decision came down to a top six which included Georgetown, Marquette, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and UConn. The Buckeyes offered the highly-touted junior back in June, and it is truly a testament to Holtmann’s ability to recruit as they beat out the in-state Orange — a well-regarded basketball program that had prioritized Gayle Jr. for quite some time.
Gayle Jr. visited Columbus back in March, getting a good feel for the Schottenstein Center as he saw Ohio State take down a ranked Michigan squad 77-63 in one of the team’s final games of the 2019-20 season.
“During the game is when it got really rowdy,” Gayle told Eleven Warriors back in April. “That’s the atmosphere I want to play for, so I kind of found it interesting just the cooperation with everybody and how into it people were. The fan section, the student section, the parent section, adults, the kids, everybody was kind of into the game.”
The 6-foot-4, 195-pound shooting guard is a very talented shooter — a skill that is tremendously important in today’s style of basketball, according to Jake Weingarten of Stock Risers.
“When watching Gayle Jr. the first thing that stood out to me was his jump-shot and his smooth offensive game,” Weingarten said. “In this day and age, basketball is all about shooting. You see players now more focused on the three-ball than ever before and that’s something that Gayle Jr. isn’t going to struggle with.”
Basketball recruiting in these times has been especially tough, as many of the circuits that coaches use to truly gauge a player’s abilities have been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the Ohio State staff had to rely on what they saw on film. Holtmann and assistant coach Jake Diebler loved what they saw on tape enough to extend the offer shortly thereafter.
“They say they like my size, length at the one, two spot,” Gayle said. “So they want me to come in and fit right into the role and be the scorer that I am and I can be. That’s basically what I want to do, so it’s like hearing what I wanted to hear.”
Gayle Jr. is the second member of Ohio State’s 2022 class, joining fellow shooting guard Bowen Hardman. The addition now moves the Buckeyes all the way up to the No. 2 class in the country, trailing only Michigan State as the only two schools with more than one commit early in the junior cycle.
Want a small glimpse at Gayle Jr.’s skillset? Check out this mix of some of his highlights from his sophomore season at Lewiston Porter Senior.