Devin Royal is staying home.
Ohio State landed one of its top 2023 targets Wednesday as the Pickerington Central forward announced his commitment to the Buckeyes at his high school, picking his hometown program over Michigan State and Alabama. Royal is now the third pledge of the class for Chris Holtmann and company, and Ohio State’s first high school commit since February.
The moment Devin Royal announced his commitment to his hometown Buckeyes: pic.twitter.com/upiGYcctq9— Griffin Strom (@GriffinStrom3) August 3, 2022
The No. 73 overall prospect, 14th-ranked small forward and second-rated player in Ohio per 247Sports’ composite rankings, Royal is listed at 6-foot-7 and 210 pounds. Royal projects as a wing at the next level and possesses a high motor and physical edge to his game that could allow him to make plays on both ends of the floor as a Buckeye.
The Royal File
- Class: 2023
- Size: 6-foot-7, 210 pounds
- Pos: SF
- School: Pickerington Central (Columbus, Ohio)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: #73 (#14 SF)
The Buckeyes extended the local prospect an offer back in October 2021, and their high level of interest in Royal has been apparent ever since.
“They love me, how I’m versatile, they really want me,” Royal told Eleven Warriors in April following an AAU game with All-Ohio Red at an EYBL event in Indianapolis. “I feel good about them, it's a great school.”
Unranked in the 247Sports composite until the start of May, Royal gained all the national recruiting exposure he previously lacked by impressing on the AAU circuit all around the country over the past several months. Royal was often the foremost standout performer on All-Ohio Red, even while playing with another Buckeye commit in four-star guard George Washington III and fellow Columbus native and top-75 prospect Dailyn Swain.
After averaging 23.8 points per game in five EYBL games in Louisville at the end of May to lift his team toward a Peach Jam berth, Royal was named On3’s MVP of the Pangos All-American Camp in Las Vegas a little over a week later. Royal also participated in Ohio State’s high school team camp in June, and even an ankle injury suffered in the event couldn’t keep him out of subsequent Kingdom League contests in Columbus before more EYBL action.
Royal finished his EYBL run with an average of 17.4 points across all games, and amid the Peach Jam issued a top-nine schools list that included Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, Alabama, Ole Miss, Clemson, Miami and Marquette.
The Buckeyes and Spartans always seemed like the frontrunners to land Royal’s talents, but the attention he received from Division I programs across the country served as a reward for the hard work he’s put in over the years.
“I feel like I deserved it. I feel like I’ve been working a lot throughout the summer, throughout last year, so I feel like it would come sooner or later,” Royal said at the Ohio State high school team camp in June. “So my day has come sooner than I thought, so it was good.”
Royal whittled that list down to three schools not long after posting his initial, but Ohio State won out to claim a third four-star in-state talent in its 2023 class. Royal joins his AAU teammate in Washington, who will play his senior season of high school at Chaminade-Julienne in Dayton, as well as St. Marys Memorial center Austin Parks.
|NAME||POSITION||OVERALL RANKING||POSITION RANKING||DATE OF COMMITMENT|
|GEORGE WASHINGTON||G||No. 60||No. 9||NOV. 3, 2021|
|AUSTIN PARKS||C||No. 105||No. 18||FEB. 13, 2022|
|DEVIN ROYAL||SF||No. 73||No. 12||AUG. 3, 2022|
The Buckeyes’ class isn’t finished yet, as Ohio State will still take on at least one more high school recruit – if not two – in the 2023 cycle. But landing Royal, a high-priority local target that many considered can’t-miss for the Buckeyes, gives Ohio State its first wing player in the haul.
Given the amount of time Royal has spent around the Buckeye program, not to mention the attention its coaching staff has shown him, it’s safe to say the fit is an ideal one for both parties.