How Kaleb Wesson's Commitment Impacts Ohio State's Recruiting Efforts

By Tim Shoemaker on July 6, 2015 at 1:15 pm
Kaleb Wesson is Ohio State's first commit in the 2017 class.

After years of underwhelming post play following the departure of Jared Sullinger, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta seems to have figured out exactly what he wants out of his 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes: Matta wants to go big.

At least that's the impression the Buckeyes are giving off, anyway, with the addition of 6-foot-8, 280-pound four-star big man Kaleb Wesson on Friday night. At that size, he was also a highly-touted football recruit along the offensive line playing at Westerville South High School, located near Columbus. But, for now, it appears Wesson has opted to play on the hardwood at the next level.

Wesson was the first commitment in Ohio State's 2017 class, but Matta and Co. have also locked up a pair of bigs in the 2016 group with the commitments earlier this year of four-star Derek Funderburk and three-star Micah Potter. 

Add those three players to the four bigs the Buckeyes currently have on their roster — Trevor Thompson, Daniel Giddens, Dave Bell and, technically, Jae'Sean Tate — and it has become clear Ohio State will want to establish a strong inside game over the next few seasons.

But while Wesson's commitment may make the Buckeyes' front crowd a crowded place when he arrives on campus in a couple of years, it also makes Ohio State's scholarship numbers pretty tight.

Right now, with Wesson's recent commitment, the Buckeyes have the full number of allotted scholarships (13) through the 2017 class. In order for Ohio State to add another player, one of the players on its current roster would have to transfer or declare early for the NBA Draft, or one of its current commits would have to change his mind and decommit from the Buckeyes. At this point, speculating about these kinds of things would be just that: speculation. There's plenty of time remaining for this to sort itself out.

But it's not like Ohio State isn't looking at adding other options, either. Specifically, the Buckeyes are going hard after the nation's No. 1 shooting guard in the 2017 class, Gary Trent Jr.

Trent is a 6-foot-5 guard out of St. Paul, Minn., who is rated by 247Sports as the No. 8 overall prospect in the country in 2017. He has offers and strong interest from Duke, Kansas and Michigan State in addition to the Buckeyes.

But Ohio State remains a strong contender to land Trent because of his ties to the Buckeyes and, more specifically, Ohio State assistant coach Jeff Boals, who played with Trent's father at Ohio University. 

Trent is one of those special players, one who will likely be a McDonald's All-American when the time comes. If he offers up his commitment to the Buckeyes, they'll take it even though there isn't currently an open scholarship. Right now, 247Sports' Crystal Ball has the predictions at 50-50 between Ohio State and Duke. 

That's why the Wesson commitment makes things a little cloudy on the recruiting front for the Buckeyes. They got a good player, an in-state player, but they also have high-profile targets still out there with high interest.

Whether or not Ohio State actually lands another guy remains to be seen. It just feels like the Buckeyes may not be finished yet.

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