One of Ohio’s top-rated young talents is going to be a Buckeye.

Sunday night, soon-to-be junior forward Kalen Etzler from Convoy Crestview announced via Twitter that he was committing to Ohio State for the class of 2021. The post showed restraint, given that the Buckeyes had offered a scholarship that was immediately accepted during a secret Thursday visit to campus.

The fact that he held onto the secret for a few days was challenging, especially while playing in a Nike Elite Youth Basketball League event in Indianapolis that forced him to miss school Friday.

“You could never imagine,” he said. “It was so hard to keep that secret because it’s one of those things you just want to share with the world.”

He eventually posted the news to Twitter at 7:30 p.m. Sunday after having spent the previous 2½ hours staring at his phone.

Entering the visit, he had a feeling that the Buckeyes might offer him a scholarship. And when they did, he wasted almost no time in accepting it, giving coach Chris Holtmann his first member of the class of 2021.

Listed at 6-8, 195 pounds, Etzler is the No. 2 recruit from Ohio, a four-star prospect and the No. 51 overall prospect in the nation according to 247Sports.com. He also held scholarship offers from Bowling Green, Duquesne and Miami University, where his older brother is committed to play.

Etzler’s uncle, Doug, played at Ohio State from 1992-95, averaging 6.6 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. As a senior, he averaged a team-high 16.3 points. Also a Crestview product, Doug Etzler was just last week named the boys basketball coach at his alma mater, where he will be coaching his nephew. He most recently coached at Teays Valley.

“That’s kind of a weird circle,” he said. “My dad loves the Buckeyes. It’s a whole pride thing. Everybody in my family loves Ohio State, so that’s going to help when I get down there. It helps when you fight for your home state. That’s what I’m fighting for.”

 

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy