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Basketball Buckeyes making big push for five-star center

2021 five-star center Charles Bediako could be nearing a decision, and Ohio State is making a last-second push.

Five-star center Charles Bediako | FIBA

Ohio State’s football program has a vastly important week ahead of itself. Through all the trials and turbulence of the 2020 regular season, the Buckeyes have reached the end game with a rematch against Clemson this week. This game, and hopefully one more, is why Ohio State stars like Justin Fields, Shaun Wade and Wyatt Davis decided to return for one final season.

With all the focus on Sugar Bowl week, it is understandable for the Basketball Buckeyes to take the backseat, even though this year’s team looks to have something special.

Even more, the future of Ohio State basketball looks to be in great hands. The Buckeyes have already been able to secure commitments from two blue-chip prospects in the 2021 cycle in four-star SG Malaki Branham and three-star PF Kalen Etzler. The current haul has the Buckeyes sitting at No. 42 in the 247Sports Class Rankings and No. 7 in the Big Ten.

But Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann and the Buckeyes’ assistant coaches are far from finished. The school is after some of the top remaining prospects, including five-star center Charles Bediako.

Bediako has long been associated with Ohio State and he included the Buckeyes in his final five schools back in October.

Since the October announcement, there have been little updates in Bediako’s recruitment. However, it is believed he is wanting to make a decision by the end of January.

Ohio State has some stiff competition in Alabama, Michigan, Duke and Texas if it is to land a commitment from Bediako, but the Buckeyes coaching staff has been hot on the recruiting trail as of late, and the Buckeyes are beginning to pick up steam.

While Alabama is the current favorite to land him, holding 100 percent of the 247Sports Crystal Ball rankings, the Buckeyes are starting to be viewed as not quite the underdog they once were.

The change is due mainly to the recent success Ohio State has had in acquiring future talent. In addition to Branham and Etzler, the Buckeyes currently hold the No. 1 class for the 2022 cycle with verbal commits from four-star SG Roddy Gayle Jr., four-star PG Bruce Thornton, and three-star SG Bowen Hardman. With the influx of guards Ohio State will be bringing in, if Bediako were to join the Buckeyes, he would be surrounded by elite talents.

If the Buckeyes are unable to secure a commitment from Bediako, there is another blue-chip center prospect the team is very familiar with in five-star Chet Holmgren, the No. 1 overall prospect in 2021.

Holmgren, who like Bediako, has long been recruited by Holtmann and Ohio State is said to also be high on the Buckeyes. Many believe the race for his services could be down to two school in particular, Ohio State and Gonzaga. However, like Bediako’s recruitment, a true leader has yet to be named by Holmgren.

Expect Holtmann and Ohio State to continue heavily recruiting both Bediako and Holmgren, as a recruiting win at the center position could push the Buckeyes to National Championship contender status.

Quick Hits

  • Ohio State 2021 five-star offensive tackle prospect Tristan Leigh is scheduled to announce his commitment this Saturday during the All-American Bowl on NBC. Ohio State was listed as one of Leigh’s final five schools, but has recently appeared to fall off with him. Oklahoma and LSU are the apparent top two for Leigh, but Buckeye Nation should tune-in Saturday in case Ryan Day is able to pull off another surprise recruiting win.