It is no secret that Ohio State basketball currently has the top recruiting class in the country for 2022. The class of Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle, Felix Okpara and Bowen Hardman has been making serious waves in the college basketball world, and the Buckeyes very likely are not done yet.
Many people had the belief that the Buckeyes would be adding Dillon Mitchell. Mitchell is currently ranked as a four-star recruit and the No. 36 overall player in the country. He is also the No. 8 small forward in the 2022 class and the eighth-ranked prospect in the state of Florida, according to 247Sports. Mitchell attends Bishop McLaughlin High School in Spring Hill, Florida. Throughout his time at Bishop McLaughlin, the forward has formed himself into one of the top recruits in the cycle and someone that Chris Holtmann and the Ohio State staff have made a priority.
Ohio State was seen as the favorite for Mitchell, along with Tennessee, Florida State and Illinois. The Buckeyes, however, were looked at as the team most likely to land Mitchell, adding to their already fantastic 2022 recruiting class.
Now, according to a report from Joe Tipton of On3, Mitchell has received an offer from Overtime Elite for two years, $2 million dollars. For obvious reasons, this could throw a wrench in the Buckeyes chances to land the four-star forward. The original tweet from Tipton has since been deleted, so the actual position of the offer to Mitchell might be in jeopardy. Nevertheless, Tipton has been a noted credible source in the past.
Overtime Elite is described as “a transformative new sports league that offers the worlds most talented young basketball players a better pathway to becoming professional athletes and engage and inspire a new age of young fans.” Basically, it is anti-college basketball. The concept of Overtime Elite is an interesting one, and it is a new option for top recruits if they do not want to head to college and play college ball. They can instead head to Overtime Elite and play for money while they wait to be eligible for the NBA draft.
Recently, top 2022 recruit Bryce Griggs agreed to a contract with Overtime Elite over Baylor, Kansas and other top programs. Griggs is the 15th player to choose Overtime Elite over college programs.
Overtime Elite is not the only option for guys to get paid before the NBA. G-League Ignite is for college-age prospects and offers players contracts close to $500K to play a year in the G-League before entering the NBA draft. Recently, No. 2 overall pick Jalen Green and No. 7 overall pick Jonathan Kuminga came from Ignite, and were both drafted into the league.
A big development recently was Jalen Duren — a top recruit in 2022 and recently reclassified to the No. 4 recruit in the 2021 class. Most people thought he would go to Ignite or Overtime Elite, but he decided to take the college route and committed to Memphis. 2021 top recruit Emoni Bates will be one to watch as well as he makes his college decision.
One thing this says about Dillon Mitchell is that he is considered, at least by Overtime Elite, as one of the best young prospects and recruits in the country, as evidenced by the size of this deal. These types of offers only come to the absolute top recruits in each class.
The other factor that plays into this for Mitchell is the newly implemented collegiate NIL rules. NIL makes it possible for collegiate athletes to profit off their image and likeness. The best case scenario for collegiate athletes at the All-American level is making between $500K and $1 millon. So, while Mitchell could very well make money as an Ohio State athlete and he would as a top basketball recruit, he likely would not make the $2 million dollars in two years that he is reportedly being offered.
Again, it has to be noted that the original tweet from Joe Tipton has been deleted, so take that as you will. Mitchell seemed to be close to an Ohio State commitment a month ago, so it would make sense that the delay in commuting would be caused by an offer like this.
Bottom line: If the offer is real and Mitchell has received it, it is hard to imagine he would turn down that money and competition and head to Ohio State. The Buckeyes best bet would be NIL, but he likely would not earn near that amount through just his own likeness. We will have to wait and see how this one plays out.