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Who are Ohio State’s most recent men’s basketball recruiting targets?

Let’s meet George Washington III and Austin Parks.

As the recruiting race really starts to heat up in college basketball, and prospects start to make their decisions and narrow their lists, Ohio State has zoned in on a 2023 recruit that has got people talking recently.

George Washington III is a top-40 recruit in the 2023 class and a prospect that head coach Chris Holtmann and the Buckeyes have taken a heavy interest in through the recent months. Washington has flown up the recruiting rankings, currently sitting at no. 42 overall, the No. 9 combo guard, and the No. 3 player in Kentucky.

Washington will visit the Buckeyes for the second time on Sept. 25. Along with the OSU, Washington will visit Memphis, Louisville, and Liberty in the coming month and has already visited Cincinnati and Tennessee.

Washington plays at Christian Academy of Louisville. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound combo guard has taken the attention of the top teams in the country and will continue to be looked at by those major programs as he enters his junior season. Washington has had only positive things to say about the Buckeyes in his time in Columbus and visiting the team and coaches thus far.

“They contacted me pretty early,” Washington told the Columbus Dispatch’s Adam Jardy. “I love coach (Ryan) Pedon and coach (Chris) Holtmann. They’re both great guys. They were my second visit and first offer. I love the coaches there, the campus. It’s a great school.”

His offers so far include Auburn, Louisville, Ohio State, Tennessee, Liberty, amongst others. Most experts view Tennessee as the favorite as it stands right now, as he went on an unofficial visit and received an offer from the Volunteers last week.

Another player flying up the Buckeyes radar is Austin Parks, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound center from Memorial High School in Saint Mary’s, Ohio.

Parks is currently unranked by the 247Sports database, but he holds offers from Illinois, Dayton, Cincinnati, Michigan State, West Virginia, Indiana, Toledo and Ohio. ESPN has him ranked as the fifth best prospect in the state of Ohio for 2023 behind Rayvon Griffith, Dailyn Swain, Lawrent Rice, and Gabe Cupps.

“Coming from where I’m from, it’s a pretty small town and I’m thinking how I’m actually able and blessed to go out and do all these things,” Parks told Jardy. “It’s pretty cool. It was really neat getting to see all these different campuses and actually being face to face with all these big-name colleges and coaches and all that.”

Parks is a top prospect largely because of his size. As a junior, Parks is already pushing 6-foot-10 and 250 pounds, so his frame can already make him a menace in the paint, especially against high schoolers.

Parks was on the sideline for the Buckeyes’ football game against Tulsa with assistant coach Jake Diebler. Since taking in Columbus, Holtmann has made recruiting the top guys in Ohio a priority, with all five of the current top prospects in the state for 2023 holding Buckeye offers.

The question now becomes, how many can they afford to land? With the COVID-19 free year of eligibility, it is hard to tell how many spots the Buckeyes will have left after this coming season, since a guy like Justice Sueing or Justin Ahrens could potentially return for another year. So far, the Buckeyes have four verbal commits in the 2022 class and as we know, Holtmann and the Buckeyes like to hit the transfer portal as well, so there will assuredly be a lot of movement between now and when the 2022-23 Buckeyes take to the floor.