In the past week, coach Chris Holtmann persuaded three members of the class of 2018 to trust his vision for the Ohio State men's basketball program and pledge their commitments.
Sunday, he brought one back into the fold. Justin Ahrens, a small forward from Versailles, Ohio, became the fourth member of the class after committing while on his official visit. The 6-foot-5, 181-pound Ahrens had initially committed to the Buckeyes last summer but withdrew it after coach Thad Matta was fired in June.
“I picked OSU because I love it here,” Ahrens told The Dispatch in a text message. “The atmosphere is awesome. I can tell coach Holt and his staff and the team have got something great brewing. I’m ready to be a part of it and be on the front end of something great. Coach Holt and the coaches and I have built a fantastic relationship, and it feels good to know where I’ll be attending college next year.
“I’m excited for it!”
Since reopening his recruitment, Ahrens was courted by most of the region’s schools and landed a host of new offers. He narrowed his list to three in late August and scheduled official visits to each school: Michigan, Ohio State and Xavier. He visited the Wolverines during the weekend of Sept. 8 and was scheduled to check out the Musketeers next weekend.
ESPN ranks Ahrens as a four-star prospect, and both ESPN and 247Sports.com rank him as the No. 6 overall prospect in Ohio. He is the lone Ohioan in the class for the Buckeyes.
The news comes after a frenetic week of commitments for the Buckeyes. It started Tuesday night, when four-star power forward Jaedon LeDee committed. One night later, three-star guard Duane Washington followed before four-star guard Luther Muhammad followed suit Friday. All had taken official visits during the month of September.