All eyes in Columbus are on the Ohio State football program, and the Buckeyes are riding high after walking out of Happy Valley with a win over Penn State over the weekend. Now a quarter of the way through the regular season, the focus of the football team is geared towards making the Big Ten Championship, and following that up with a College Football Playoff appearance.
This leaves the team with a little less time for recruiting, but while Ryan Day and his staff continue to make it happen when they can on the recruiting front, Chris Holtmann and the basketball Buckeyes are hitting the ground running.
The hard work appears to already be paying off, as the program made the top five for five-star point guard Bruce Thorton over the weekend. In addition to this, the Buckeyes hold the No. 11 class in 2021 and are No. 7 in 2022, already securing a commitment from shooting guard Bowen Hardman.
Now, Holtmann and co. are reportedly targeting one of the top recruits in the 2023 recruiting class. Four-star SG Ja’Kobe Walter (McKinney, TX/McKinney) spoke with Jake Weingarten of Stock Risers recently, and noted that one of the newer teams showing interest is in fact the Buckeyes.
While Ohio State has yet to officially offer Walter a scholarship to play in Columbus, one will likely come in the near future. If the team is to enter into the race for his services, the battle to land a commitment from him will not be an easy one. Walter already holds offers from the likes of Alabama, SMU, Memphis, Baylor, Oklahoma, and TCU as well as receiving interest from Texas Tech, Texas, Texas A&M, Minnesota and Ohio State.
The impressive list of suitors shows the potential Walter has exuded as a high school sophomore. 247Sports also views him as the No. 2 SG in the country and the No. 14 overall prospect in the 2023 class.
Walter’s recruitment is still very early in the process, and with the Coronavirus pandemic creating an unscheduled recruiting dead period, don’t expect a list of leaders to emerge for quite some time. Walter will likely wait until he is able to visit schools before doing so.
Holtmann and the Ohio State coaching staff have proven to be some of the best at virtually recruiting, which could give the team an opportunity to get a leg up on the competition in the early stages of his recruitment. Expect the Buckeyes to attempt to virtually host him on an unofficial visit soon, where an offer would likely follow.
- Ohio State appears to be in the driver’s seat for 2022 four-star OT Kiyaunta Goodwin, holding 100 percent of the 247 Crystal Ball predictions with a confidence score of an 8/10. Goodwin spoke with Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports on his recruitment and had the following to say regarding Ohio State:
“Just that culture,” he said. “Just the great coaching staff. Just the way Coach Day has changed the culture. The way that he is. Hopefully they’re competing for a National Championship this year and the way he’s made it his team.
“I have a real good relationship with Coach (Greg) Stud(wara). He is a true football coach. Somebody I can see myself wanting to play for. He develops a lot of linemen. Ohio State has a lot of good defensive ends and one of the things I want to do is be able to compete against the best in practice. It definitely draws my eyes to Ohio State a lot too.”