Recruiting never stops, and if you take a day off, you fall behind. Join us every night for a daily recap of Ohio State recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes and a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Buckeyes commit Jaelen Gill honored in his hometown
You can add one more item to the list of things I never received because I was never a high-level Division 1 football prospect. On Wednesday, Ohio State commit Jaelen Gill was honored by his hometown of Westerville, Ohio, with, get this, Jaelen Gill Day.
It's Jaelen Gill Day here in Westerville pic.twitter.com/mJ71Zsffel
— J-A-E- (@jaelengill21) November 8, 2017
No one ever gave me my own holiday when I was leading the mighty Toledo Start Spartans to the state championship game in 1997!
This honor for Gill, the country’s No. 1-ranked all-purpose tailback and a 5-star prospect in the Class of 2018 per the 247Sports composite, came in tandem with his U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey presentation. The chance to represent his hometown in a game that represents his country is something Gill has always dreamed of doing.
“It’s just crazy that this day is already here,” Gill told Marc Givler of BuckeyeGrove.com. “This is a game that I’ve been trying to get to since I was a little kid, since I started playing football. To finally be selected for it is a blessing.”
Gill is one of five current Ohio State verbal commitments heading to San Antonio for the All-American Bowl, which will air live on NBC on Jan. 6, 2018.
Chris Holtmann talks about Ohio State signing class
We don’t talk a lot of basketball here on Dotting the ‘Eyes but Wednesday was National Signing Day for a number of different prep athletes around the country, including the first four members of new Buckeyes head coach Chris Holtmann’s inaugural class at Ohio State.
Holtmann met with the media to discuss the Ohio State season opener (hosting Robert Morris at 7 p.m. ET Friday night) as well as his incoming Class of 2018.
“We are very excited about the addition of Justin (Ahrens), Jaedon (LeDee), Luther (Muhammad) and Duane (Washington),” Holtmann said in a release. “Our staff did an outstanding job working tirelessly and diligently to add these four young men who we feel can make an early impact in our program and who exemplify what we want to be as a Buckeye.”
In all, Ohio State signed four of the country’s top 300 players in the 247Sports composite ratings, good for the No. 17 class in the nation to this point.
Here’s a bit more on each of the four signees as Holtmann sees them, from the Ohio State release:
A versatile and skilled wing guard who has a terrific feel for the game. He can really shoot the ball and is a deceptive athlete. We are very excited about him! As soon as we were able to spend some time getting to know Justin he became a major priority because of the impact we felt he could have in our program. We watched nearly all of his July games and I love his approach as a player and teammate. Being from just down the road in Ohio, Justin understands and has a great appreciation for this place. We think Justin’s versatility, shooting, IQ and feel will be really important for our program moving forward. Justin has been very well coached and he has a terrific support system with his family. We’re so excited to add them to our Buckeye family.
Jae got the ball rolling with this 2018 class after taking an official visit here and committing shortly thereafter. Obviously, we knew we were going to have a need for a forward and Jae is a young man we identified as soon as we were hired in June. We are really excited about him! He is a very good rebounder, has a great nose for the ball, is physically ready and has versatility. He can score with his back to the basket as well as step out on the perimeter, which is a requirement in today’s game for guys his size. As with most bigger guys, we believe his best days are ahead of him as his game continue to grow and he adjust to the college pace. Jae comes from an outstanding family and has been coached well. We’re very excited to add them to the Buckeye family.
Luther is a young man who we have known for over a year and a half. From the first days on the job here for us, he was a major recruiting priority. He brings versatility, toughness, high-level competitiveness and an elite defensive mindset. Luther can make shots, make plays with the ball in his hands for others and defend all three perimeter positions. He plays with an edge and his competitiveness is contagious. He also is an outstanding teammate. We expect Luther to have an immediate impact and continue to improve as he adjusts to the pace of this level as a freshman. Luther comes from a terrific program and has been coached very well. We are excited to add Luther and his terrific family to the Buckeye family.
Duane is an outstanding shooter with excellent versatility because of his scoring ability, playmaking and size. He has really good feel for the game and brings a confidence and charisma as a player and teammate. He grew up in Big Ten country and understands the demands of playing at this level. Duane is young for his class and we are very excited about his immediate impact on our program. We obviously have had a significant need to add guard play and Duane was someone we identified as a major priority as soon as we saw him. He had an outstanding July! He comes from a terrific program. We are excited to add Duane and his outstanding family to our Buckeye family.
Ohio State isn’t necessarily done in the class, either. Holtmann is still holding out hope that the Buckeyes will be able to add a point guard to the group.
“We’ll be aggressive, but we in some ways, when we had those commitments in the matter of a week, we took a step back,” Holtmann said. “We had to cancel a couple of official visits that we had planned. Meeting one time, we had all of these official visits lined up and we’re sitting there with four commitments. We have assistant coaches saying ‘we can bring in this guy.’
“I love how aggressive we’re being, but we can’t have an eight-member freshman class.”
Miss a day of the Ohio State recruiting notebook? Don’t fret! You can get all of the previous versions of Dotting the ‘Eyes here.
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