Chris Holtmann has inked a top-10 nationally-ranked recruiting class for the second straight year.
All four of Ohio State’s 2023 pledges, including Scotty Middleton, Taison Chatman, Devin Royal and Austin Parks, made their commitments official Wednesday by signing their National Letters of Intent. While the Buckeyes’ 2022 class ranked No. 6 in the country on signing day, the ‘23 haul is even more elite, slotting in at No. 5 in the nation per the 247Sports composite.
Only Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State and UConn have higher-ranked classes, which makes Ohio State’s 2023 group the second-best haul in the Big Ten. The No. 5 ranking is Holtmann’s highest since taking over as Ohio State head coach in 2017.
The Buckeyes signed three four-star, top-50 overall prospects and one three-star recruit. The most highly touted of the bunch is 6-foot-6, 180-pound wing Scotty Middleton, who ranks 38th in the country, seventh at his position and No. 3 in the state of Kansas, where Middleton plays high school basketball at Sunrise Christian. The Miami native committed to the Buckeyes on Aug. 7 and is considered one of the top defenders in the country. Middleton could play multiple positions at Ohio State, and although he’s categorized as a small forward on 247Sports, the Buckeyes may use him as a combo guard at the college level.
The most recent player to commit to Ohio State ahead of signing day was Chatman (No. 43 overall), a 6-foot-4, 170-pound combo guard who ranks 10th overall at his position and No. 1 in Minnesota. Chatman pledged to the Buckeyes on Sept. 20, filling the void left by the commitment of four-star guard George Washington III, who has since committed to Michigan. Chatman plays high school hoops for Totino-Grace in Minneapolis, where he has garnered the status of one of the top shooters in the country.
"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 before his commitment. "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.”
Ohio State also signed two Buckeye State natives on Wednesday, with Pickerington Central’s Devin Royal being the higher-ranked recruit of the pair. Royal became the first true local recruit in the Holtmann era when he committed to the program on Aug. 3. At 6-foot-7, 210 pounds, Royal is the 49th-ranked prospect in the country, the No. 10 power forward and the No. 1 player in Ohio.
“I think it will mean a lot, just to leave a legacy behind,” Royal said after his commitment. “Coming from high school to college, still being home, I feel like it will mean a lot for everyone in the community. … Family close to home, they can come to my home games and everything, friends and family. So it means a lot for me.”
Parks was the first Ohio product to commit to the class back in February, opting to stay within 90 minutes of his hometown of Saint Marys, Ohio. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound big man is the fifth-ranked player in the state, the 26th-rated center in the country and the No. 169 prospect in the class. With Zed Key and Felix Okpara serving as the lone two scholarship bigs on the Buckeye roster in 2022-23, Parks will give Ohio State more size down low next season.
“I’m excited to see how much more advanced my game will become, because high school and college are a whole different level,” Parks told Eleven Warriors in February. “The way these coaches are gonna work with me and make me a better player, I’m just excited to see what I can do.”