On August 27, 2016, Justin Ahrens and close friend Darius Bazley turned Thad Matta’s office into a makeshift studio to announce their verbal commitments to Ohio State.
Exactly one year to the date, Ahrens took to Twitter to announce that he had cut his list of top schools to three: and that the Buckeyes had made the cut. The one-time member of Ohio State’s class of 2018 who re-opened his recruitment after Matta was fired in early June will take official visits to his finalists: Michigan, Ohio State and Xavier.
Late last week, Ahrens posted fan-made edits to Twitter of himself wearing a Michigan jersey and then an Ohio State jersey.
Michigan: Sept 8-10〽️
OSU: Sept 22-24⭕️
Xavier: Sept 29- Oct 1⚔️ pic.twitter.com/fwRye9OYqJ
He will visit Michigan from Sept. 8-10, Ohio State from Sept. 22-24 and Xavier from Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
The visit to Columbus will be taken the same weekend as another top Ohio prospect: Dwayne Cohill, a four-star guard from Parma Heights (Ohio) Holy Name. The two have posted about it on Twitter, too:
buckeyenation go give my bro @ahrensjustin12 a follow! we'll be down to see you guys September 23rd can't wait https://t.co/MycMOW2779— Dwayne Cohill (@therealdwayne35) August 15, 2017
247Sports.com ranks the 6-5, 181-pound Ahrens as a three-star prospect, the No. 7 prospect from Ohio and the No. 44 small forward in the nation. Cohill is the No. 5 prospect from Ohio and the No. 93 overall prospect nationally.
The Buckeyes figure to have five available scholarships for the class of 2018 and currently have no verbal commitments. Four of the top six Ohioans have committed elsewhere, but sources have told The Dispatch that while Chris Holtmann’s staff would like to land at least one prospect from within state borders for its first recruiting class, it is not viewed as an absolute must. That will change as time passes and the staff grows more established in Ohio, but this first class might look significantly different than future ones.
In an interview with elevatehoops.com, four-star power forward Darius Days from Gainesville (Fla.) The Rock School listed the Buckeyes as both a finalist and a recipient of an official visit.
Days will visit Louisville on Sept. 15, Ohio State on Sept. 22, North Carolina on Oct. 6 and LSU on Oct. 13. Xavier is also a finalist but will not land an official visit, apparently.
The plan is to commit to a school on his birthday, Oct. 20.
ESPN ranks Days as the No. 61 overall prospect in his class and the No. 17 prospect at his position. The 247Sports “Crystal Ball” projection lists LSU as the most likely school to land his commitment at 44 percent.
Add a new name to the Ohio State recruiting radar.
Andrew Nembhard, a four-star point guard from Ontario who is playing at Montverde (Fla.) Academy this season, posted a list of his final nine schools and included the Buckeyes.
Also making the cut: Connecticut, Florida, Gonzaga, Maryland, Seton Hall, Stanford, USC and Virginia. The 6-4, 185-pound Nembhard is rated as the No. 31 overall prospect and the No. 6 point guard in the nation by 247Sports.
Final 9❗️ pic.twitter.com/zvrFLLoFq3— Andrew Nembhard (@AndrewNembhard) August 27, 2017
Ohio State has made the latest cut for small forward Talen Horton-Tucker, but it’s not exactly in exclusive company.
In a 15-second video posted to his Twitter page, Horton-Tucker said that while he’s grateful for all the schools that have taken time to recruit him, he’s down to his final 13 schools. They are revealed in the following order: Illinois, Michigan State, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Kansas, St. Louis, Dayton, Missouri, Iowa State, Ohio State, Xavier, Georgetown and Michigan.
247Sports ranks the 6-5, 210-pound Horton-Tucker as a four-star prospect, the No. 4 overall prospect in Illinois and the nation’s No. 108 prospect.