In extending one of its most recent scholarship offers, Ohio State stretched about as far as it could across the United States.
After a strong summer showing on the AAU circuit and entering his second season in California after starting his prep career in Chicago, four-star guard Nimari Burnett is entering a new scholarship offer from the Buckeyes. The 6-3, 180-pound junior from Napa Prolific Prep told The Dispatch that while he’s not exactly in Ohio State’s backyard, his recruitment has involved coach Chris Holtmann and his staff for some time.
“I did my freshman year at Morgan Park High School in Chicago,” he said Tuesday night, a few hours after announcing his new scholarship offer on Twitter. “That’s kind of close. They kept in touch with me there, and then a year later started following me even harder and seeing that I moved to California but I’m still interested in moving back to the Midwest for college.”
Holtmann’s staff first began recruiting Burnett when they were at Butler. The level of interest was strong enough that he took an unofficial visit to campus in early July.
“I popped up on their (radar) a little bit before Peach Jam and I had went on a visit,” he said. “It was very, very nice. Great campus and a lot of history. I enjoyed it, and they say they were going to come watch me at Peach. They actually couldn’t make it to Peach so they said they were going to watch me in Vegas so they came out and watched me in Vegas and I think I displayed very well and they ended up offering me.”
ESPN cited Burnett as one of three standouts from the class of 2020 who looked like future stars while playing in Las Vegas during the final weekend of the live evaluation period.
In the 247Sports.com composite rankings, Burnett is listed as the No. 48 overall prospect in his class and the No. 13 shooting guard prospect in the nation. Although he’s comfortable there too, Burnett said he classifies himself as a combo guard because he prefers to play at the point.
“I play point guard at Prolific Prep,” he said. “I prefer myself as a point guard, but shooting guard is basically the same thing because I’m a combo.”
Most teams are recruiting him “definitely as a combo guard,” he said. “Me being versatile and switching up and being able to contribute for my team and for myself. I think I can score the ball very well and they wouldn’t mind sliding me to the 2.”
In addition to the Ohio State offer, Burnett has added July offers from Arizona State, Texas A&M, Indiana, Nevada, Marquette and USC to go along with offers from Illinois, DePaul, Stanford and California. Ohio State assistant coach Mike Schrage is serving as his primary recruiter for the Buckeyes, and he is in contact with either Burnett or his dad on a weekly basis, he said. It’s a similar standard for most of the schools recruiting him.
As he approaches his junior season, Burnett said he’s not in a rush to make a decision as he searches for a school with the right combination of academics and athletics along with a coaching staff that will push him to reach his full potential. A list of top schools could soon be in the plans.
“I feel like (I’ll decide) at least at the end of my junior year, or if not then the beginning of my senior year,” he said.
Blessed and thankful to receive an offer from Ohio State‼️ #GoBuckeyes pic.twitter.com/5rmfItRAbg— Nimari Burnett (@NimariBurnett) August 1, 2018