By the middle of the day Wednesday, Ohio State will have received a signed letter-of-intent from New Jersey with Luther Muhammad’s name on it.

His head coach, Nick Mariniello, told The Dispatch that the Buckeyes will get a rare player from today’s era of high school basketball.

“Luther is such an intense player on both ends of the floor,” Mariniello said Tuesday afternoon. “His work ethic in practice is terrific. I think that one of the things that a lot of players lose sight in is that playing hard is a skill, like shooting a ball or defending or being able to handle the ball. He has a very, very high skill level of playing the game hard every practice, every possession, every play, every workout, every game, every day. He’s got an unbelievable motor and he plays with a major chip on his shoulder.”


Hudson Catholic's Louis King (Oregon), Luther Muhammad (Ohio State) & Precious Ikediashi (St. Francis) sign their NLI's. pic.twitter.com/P9sLiVA7yV


— Pat Lawless (@PatLawless_) November 8, 2017

The 6-4, 185-pound Muhammad committed to the Buckeyes on Sept. 22 during a stretch that saw four players issue verbal commitments for the class of 2018 within six days of each other. He is one of two ESPN100 recruits in the class, joining four-star forward Jaedon LeDee from Houston (Texas) The Kinkaid School.

This afternoon, Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann will be able to discuss them at a scheduled press conference. Mariniello said that he feels Muhammad will begin his collegiate career as a shooting guard who can also play point guard but that he will likely grow into more of a point guard.

Regardless of specific position, though, Mariniello said Muhammad will set himself apart with his attitude at both ends of the court.

“The length of the floor, he’s tremendous,” Mariniello said. “I think he will eventually be one of the best two-way players in the country. I would say right now he’s probably one of the best incoming freshmen two-way players in the country but he is going to be a phenomenal two-way player at Ohio State.”

247Sports.com ranks Muhammad as the No. 4 overall prospect from New Jersey, the No. 50 prospect in the nation and the No. 9 shooting guard. ESPN has him as No. 94 overall, No. 5 in his state and No. 17 at his position.

With a thin depth chart in the backcourt, Muhammad is likely to assume a significant role immediately upon his arrival at Ohio State.

“I don’t think Luther is going to have a large learning curve when he gets to college,” Mariniello said. “I think that because of his skill set, because of his physicality, because of how hard he plays and he brings it every day, he’ll be ready to transform from a high school elite player to an elite college player.”

For more on the players the Buckeyes will sign today, check back this afternoon.

 

 

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy