Ohio State basketball has continued to run the ranks of the 2022 recruiting class, currently with the top-rated group in the country and looking to add more pieces.
One name that has gone slightly under the radar because he is not as big of a name as some others the Buckeyes have targeted is center Patrick Wessler. Wessler is a three-star recruit out of the impressive Combine Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina. He stands at 7-foot and 235 pounds as just a high school junior.
Even though Wessler is not a four of five-star recruit — though he could get that fourth star before his recruitment is over — the seven-footer would be a huge get for Chris Holtmann and company, and could make an immediate impact for the Buckeyes.
Wessler is currently listed as the No. 199 player in the 2022 recruiting class, according to 247Sports. He is also listed as the No. 29 center in the country and the No. 4 player in the state of North Carolina. Wessler had garnered a lot of interest over the past year, holding offers from Cincinnati, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, South Florida, Wake Forest, Mercer, Elon, East Carolina, Iowa, USC, Ole Miss, NC State, Providence, Creighton, and obviously Ohio State, among others.
Wessler spoke with 247Sports back in January about his offers and recruitment, and he listed Wake Forest, South Florida, and Virginia Tech as the top three schools he has been in contact with. However, he has gained many offers and interest since then so those schools could have changed over the past six months.
Wessler is a great mix of offense and defense, featuring great footwork and touch on offense, and with his seven-foot frame is a rim protector and elite rebounder on defense. He can step out and knock down a mid-range jump shot or use that footwork and finesse to get buckets down low.
On the big man front, Ohio State currently has four guys on the roster, and three will likely be gone after this season. Joey Brunk and Kyle Young are both seniors that will have exhausted their eligibility, and EJ Liddell is a Big Ten Player of the Year candidate and possibly a national POY candidate who will likely enter the draft after this upcoming season. That will leave Zed Key on his own down low for the Buckeyes next season, and all three commits in 2022 so far are guards (Bryce Thornton, Roddy Gayle, and Bowen Hardman).
It is imperative that the Buckeyes add somebody to fill those roles down low, especially as they get into conference play come next season. The Big Ten always has solid big men and that will not end anytime soon, so the Buckeyes will have to match that to stay competitive. Ohio State will have no shortage of guards next season, so the recruitment of big men will surely be a focal point for the team coming into the fall and as the 2021-2022 season gets underway.
Ohio State will have seven or eight scholarships to fill next season with a senior-heavy class in 2021, and getting some big guys down low will be a priority. Tarris Reed is one that people have started to Crystal Ball to the Buckeyes, and there are other top big men that have listed Ohio State on their final list of schools.
Wessler will be one to pay attention to as we get further into the summer and into the fall to see where he decides to suit up collegiately. Ohio State would be ecstatic to make him their fourth commit in the 2022 cycle and add to the already stellar recruiting class.