For all of the work and near-misses experienced on the recruiting trail since taking the Ohio State job, Chris Holtmann knew it was going to take just one kid to get the ball rolling.
And after his official visit, Jaedon LeDee realized pretty quickly that he was that guy.
“We met the coaching staff and they all seem down to earth and it felt like home,” he told The Dispatch earlier this month. “Then I met the players. They were very cool, very fun kids, great kids. I just gelled really well with them. They took me around campus and I could see myself walking around there. It was a good experience.”
#BuckeyeNation pic.twitter.com/Wk8MjIJoSL— Jaedon LeDee (@jae_ledee) September 19, 2017
That visit took place during the weekend of Sept. 9, when the Buckeyes also hosted guard Luther Muhammad, who would later commit to the program as well. LeDee would still take another official visit, this one to Texas A&M, but he committed on Sept. 19 and opened the floodgates for three more commitments in the next five days.
Although one more trip was still on the calendar, LeDee said he was sold on the Buckeyes after his visit.
“We came back, we talked about it and my mom said that home vibe was there,” he said. “And it’s The Ohio State University. It’s a big-time school. We talked about the opportunity I’d have there on and off the court. My whole family felt comfortable there. We didn’t want to rush into anything, so we took another visit and that’s how we knew where we wanted me to go.”
LeDee is a consensus four-star recruit. 247Sports.com ranks him as the No. 94 prospect in the country and the No. 30 small forward, even if his skills translate to other positions. LeDee is occasionally listed as a power forward, too, but he started the first game of his high school career at point guard.
Since then, he’s grown from 6-6 to 6-9 and largely been able to physically dominate much of his prep competition.
“I see myself as a 3-4, 4-3,” he said. “That’s what I played a lot this summer. It’s a mismatch problem: too quick and skilled for big guys and too big and too strong for little guys.”
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Holtmann can’t comment publicly on recruits until they have officially signed letters-of-intent, but he told fans at an Agonis Club fundraiser Monday night that the incoming recruiting class is one they will enjoy.
“What we have right now is an opportunity for playing time, a tremendous opportunity,” he said. “We want guys that are saying, ‘I want to grab that and I want to be a big part of helping this program be successful.’ And the four guys that have jumped on board, that’s been a big factor for them. We’ve had to fight some of the negativity on the recruiting trail, no doubt about it, but I’m excited about the guys who said, ‘I want to be a part of that thing when it gets back to being an elite program.’ ”
LeDee said that opportunity resonated with him.
“That’s pretty exciting,” he said. “That’s why I looked at it. We can write our own script. I don’t want to go somewhere where it’s like, there’s tradition, this, that. I just come in and this is us. We’re going to build it up. We’re going to have fun. We’re going to have ups and downs but we’re still going to play through it and do what we have to do to get wins.”