Ohio State wasted little time filling the hole left by George Washington III’s decommitment.
Just 15 days after the first commit in the Buckeyes’ 2023 class reopened his recruitment, Chris Holtmann and company land a commitment from the No. 44 overall prospect and eighth-ranked combo guard in the nation in Taison Chatman.
The Chatman File
- Class: 2023
- Size: 6-foot-4, 170 pounds
- Pos: CG
- School: Totino-Grace (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: #44 (#11 CG)
A 6-foot-4, 170-pound playmaker and the No. 1 recruit in the state of Minnesota, Chatman placed Ohio State among his top five schools back in July, ultimately choosing the Buckeyes over Kansas, Virginia, Minnesota and Xavier.
"I picked Ohio State really just because I had a good relationship with the coaches. One thing I wanted to make sure is that I was comfortable in college with the people around and players and coaching staff," Chatman told Eleven Warriors. "So I think that checked the box. The other thing was just the playing style. I think I fit right into what they’re trying to build, as far as I could be a scorer or a playmaker in their rotation. So I think that’s big.”
Entering September, the chances of Chatman joining the Buckeyes’ 2023 class seemed less than likely. Ohio State earned commitments from four-star wings Devin Royal and Scotty Middleton in August, which gave the scarlet and gray a total of four pledges and the No. 5 recruiting class in the country.
The Buckeyes still had an outside chance of bringing in a fifth high school recruit in the cycle, but the presence of Washington – a 6-foot-2 shooting guard and the No. 106 prospect in the country – seemed to negate the need for another backcourt player in the group. Not to mention, the Ohio State coaching staff sees potential for Middleton, listed as a 6-foot-6 small forward by 247Sports, to run some point at the next level as well.
But things quickly changed after the Ohio State football team’s season opener against Notre Dame, which saw a number of high-profile recruits on the sidelines in Columbus while visiting the program.
“I’d say for athletes, the fanbase is crazy. They don’t have any (pro) sports teams, so it’s really just Ohio State athletics," Chatman said. "I think the fanbase they have is good, they show a lot of love around campus and around the state.”
Both Chatman and Washington were among those present for the contest, and by the following Monday, the latter announced his decision to decommit from Ohio State, dropping the Buckeyes’ 2023 class to No. 9 in the country.
Totino-Grace High School’s Chatman now occupies that scholarship spot for the Buckeyes, who in turn receive an upgrade over Washington at guard in terms of recruiting rank.
Chatman’s smooth game, controlled pace and outside shooting ability jump off the screen when watching his highlights. Chatman routinely knocks down 3-point shots both in catch-and-shoot scenarios and off the dribble at the high school level, and his extensive offensive repertoire suggests a level of development uncommon for his age.
Chatman’s commitment once again boosts the Buckeyes’ class to the No. 5 spot in the country, as he joins a group that includes Middleton, Royal and three-star center Austin Parks. Chatman is now the most highly-rated player in the group as the Buckeyes continue raising their standard on the recruiting tail.
Ohio State’s class ranks second in the Big Ten behind only Michigan State, and Chatman will likely close out its 2023 cycle with a second consecutive top-10 nationally ranked haul.
"The class last year that Coach Holtmann got was pretty good, and the ‘23 class, our class is pretty good," Chatman said. "So if you combine those two next year, I feel like we’ll definitely be a good team and we’ll be pretty scary next year.”
|NAME||POSITION||OVERALL RANKING||POSITION RANKING||DATE OF COMMITMENT|
|AUSTIN PARKS||C||No. 168||No. 25||FEB. 13, 2022|
|DEVIN ROYAL||PF||No. 50||No. 10||AUG. 3, 2022|
|SCOTTY MIDDLETON||SF||No. 39||No. 7||AUG. 6, 2022|
|TAISON CHATMAN||CG||No. 44||No. 11||SEPT. 20, 2022|