Hoops Recruiting: Ohio State Targeting Columbus' 2019 Class

By Zach Fleer on June 23, 2016 at 4:10 pm
2019 Westerville North guard Jeremiah Keene
2019 Westerville North guard Jeremiah Keene (@AllOhio2019)

The 2019 class in the Columbus area has a chance to be as good as the departing 2016 class that sent nearly a dozen players to the NCAA Division I level.

At least at the top that is.

For Ohio State, the Buckeyes' coaching staff has noticed this early and targeted the area's top four in 2019. With all four players visiting Ohio State and receiving significant interest, the Buckeyes have targeted Gahanna's Jordan Mitchell, Pickerington Central's Jeremiah Francis, Worthington Christian's Taylor Currie and Westerville North's Jeremiah Keene.

Mitchell has already received an offer from Ohio State, while Francis, Currie and Keene each visited campus in the last week or so. The trio all play for All-Ohio Red's 15u squad (Mitchell plays for rival King James), which has been a program that consistently attracts attention from the Buckeyes. Jae'Sean Tate, Andre Wesson, Kaleb Wesson and Dane Goodwin are a few former and current alumni of the Nike sponsored club.

With each resuming starting roles this past season as freshmen, Central Ohio's "Big Four" offers big-time promise for a class that has depth outside its best crop of players. Very reminiscent of the 2016 class that had four high-major guys at the top in Michigan State's Nick Ward, Harvard's Seth Towns, Michigan's Ibi Watson and Ohio State's Andre Wesson, the Buckeyes are looking to recruit 2019 earlier than usual. None of the four previously mentioned players earned an offer from OSU until just prior to their junior seasons, while Watson had never attracted much attention from the Buckeyes.

The return of Chris Jent is a big addition to the Buckeye staff and the former NBA coach has had a major hand in recruiting, especially in Ohio. With several offers and significant interest going out to in-state players, Ohio State has firmly entrenched itself within its borders, and that looks to continue to grow in 2019.

What does each player bring to the table? Let's take a look.

Jordan Mitchell (6-foot-7 SF - Gahanna - 2019)

Long, playmaking wing forward that is a true two-way player. Mitchell is as developed as they come as an elite defending wing, and offers versatility on the offensive floor, able to score in wide variety. Mitchell reminds us a bit of Finneytown rising junior Darius Bazley, who received a Buckeye offer earlier in the week, a long forward capable of attacking the defense in many ways. Mitchell is No. 1 for Ohio State in 2019.

Jeremiah Francis (6-foot-2 PG - Pickerington Central - 2019)

A player we've talked about a lot recently, Francis is a bulldog of a point guard on track to blow up his sophomore season. Able to get anywhere on the dribble and hit shots that most rising sophomores aren't capable of making, Francis has a very mature build and game. Plus, he is the son of Ohio State alumni. We think he will be a Buckeye when it's all said and done.

Taylor Currie (6-foot-9 PF - Worthington Christian - 2019)

Currie may not be a household name to Ohio State fans right now, but expect that to change in the coming months. He visited campus on Tuesday, and Currie is a long 6-foot-9 stretch four that can do a lot on offense. Capable of stretching the floor and hitting shots from the perimeter, Currie can also attack the glass and finish inside, as he has a game reminiscent of Ohio State freshman Micah Potter. Currie will be something to watch in the coming years as he adds more strength.

Jeremiah Keene (6-foot-1 PG - Westerville North - 2019)

The most underrated of the four players, Keene is a scoring point guard that has put up big numbers this summer, especially at Ohio State's team camp. An elite shooter on the wing, Keene plays with a chip on his shoulder and can make a lot of shots from all over the floor, a bit like Kam Williams. It will be interesting to see how big Keene grows, as his older brother and 2014 Westerville North graduate Isaiah Keene ended up at 6-foot-4. Similar size for Jeremiah would turn him into one of the state's most sought-after wing guards even more than he already is.

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