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Three-star center from Ohio decides on the Buckeyes

Ohio State had a nice weekend on the hardwood that was capped off by a pledge from an in-state three-star prospect.

Austin Parks
Brandon Jenkins, 247Sports

While the basketball Buckeyes were handled business on the hardwood on Saturday with a 68-57 road win over Michigan, Head Coach Chris Holtmann also was able to secure a pledge from an in-state prospect to cap off the weekend. Plus, the latest on Ohio State’s pursuit of a blue-chip defender on the gridiron as he narrows his recruitment down.

Parks picks Buckeyes

Ohio State got on the board once again in the 2023 recruiting class as Chris Holtmann was fortunate to welcome 2023 four-star center Austin Parks of Memorial (OH) to the fold on Sunday. The blue-chip in-state prospect ultimately selected the Buckeyes over a pair of other finalists in Indiana and West Virginia.

Despite there only being three programs in the running for his services in the end, Parks saw a host of universities pursuing him. Aside from the three schools we knew were in the running, Parks also held offers from the likes of Cincinnati, Illinois, Michigan State, and more.

Parks is currently graded as the No. 148 overall player in the country. The 6-foot-9, 240-pounder is also slotted as the 18th highest graded center and the sixth best player from the state of Ohio.

The addition of Parks now gives the Buckeyes two members of their 2023 hoops recruiting class. Parks, a Saint Mary’s native, will be joining four-star combo guard George Washington III of Christian Academy of Louisville (KY) and shot Ohio State up 26 slots giving them the 44th highest graded class in the country thus far.

Hartford down to seven

Ohio State certainly seems to be reaping the benefits of adding former Cincinnati cornerbacks coach Perry Eliano to the coaching staff in a short span. Eliano, who will coach the safety position in Columbus, already had a preexisting relationship with 2023 four-star athlete Malik Hartford of Lakota West (OH) and now the Buckeyes on beginning to make some news in this recruitment.

On Friday, Hartford began narrowing things down and will focus on seven schools going forward as he revealed his top programs.

Ohio State was among the schools that were included for the 6-foot-3, 175-pounder and now the program can move forward knowing the competition they will have to outlast. Rounding out the top group for Hartford aside from the Buckeyes included Cincinnati, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and West Virginia.

As things currently stand, I feel as if Ohio State is likely the biggest threat among the seven programs still in-play. The relationship that Eliano has been able to build with Hartford seems to have put the Buckeyes right into the thick of things and I wouldn’t be surprised if Ohio State finds way into the next reveal that Hartford hints at as coming “soon.”

The West Chester native currently doesn’t hold the most impressive rankings on the 247Sports Composite Scale but he does come in just outside of the Top 200 at No. 216 overall. The Firebird standout defender also ranks as the 18th best athlete in the class and the fourth best player that the state of Ohio has to offer in this cycle.

Quick Hits

  • Ohio State target and 2023 four-star wide receiver Carnell Tate of IMG Academy (FL) told 247Sports' Allen Trieu that he has Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Miami (OH) as the programs that could be next in-line for a visit. Tate also included Ohio State along with Notre Dame and Tennessee when discussing the school's that are currently standing out for him.