As in-person recruiting resumes, which big men are the Ohio State Buckeyes pursuing?

Adam Jardy
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann claps on the sideline during a game against  Northwestern at Value City Arena on Jan. 13.

The first month of in-person recruiting is going to be jam-packed for the Ohio State men’s basketball program. Coach Chris Holtmann and his staff are scheduled to have at least one recruit on campus each day starting June 1, with some days featuring more than one visitor.

Some will be official visits. Some will be unofficial. And a lot of them will feature big guys. The Buckeyes enter the month with three long-standing commitments for the class of 2022, all of which are guards with different capabilities. With the backcourt locked up and at least five open roster spots for the 2022-23 season, Ohio State is putting a major emphasis on landing a few good (big) men to fill out the class.

During his most recent press conference, Holtmann was asked when the Buckeyes might land a five-star big man.

“We just have to keep swinging,” he said on April 27. “I would love for it to be a regional, local prospect, but that run of big men that we saw come through here felt like, ‘Man, there’s another one that came from the state.’ I think we’re in good position with some guys moving forward.”

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It’s impossible to forecast how big Ohio State’s 2022 recruiting class will be as the one-time transfer exemption takes effect and the Buckeyes enter this season with eight players in at least their fourth year of college basketball, but it’s likely they will still add one or two players.

With that, here is an alphabetical list of big men on Ohio State’s radar for the class of 2022. Some will visit. Some will not. Some have offers. Some do not. All rankings are courtesy of the composite database.

Reed Bailey

A versatile forward from Wolfeboro (New Hampshire) Brewster Academy, the 6-foot-10, 180-pound Bailey added offers from Iowa, Xavier, Rhode Island and Boston College, among four others, in the span of four days in early May. He is currently unranked.

Wauwatosa East forward Leon Bond attempts to throw down a dunk against Brookfield East during a game on Dec. 18.

Leon Bond

An unranked forward from Milwaukee Wauwatosa, the 6-5, 180-pound Bond is listed as a small forward by 247Sports. Virginia Tech, Marquette and a few others have offered. In its own rankings, 247Sports lists him as a three-star prospect.

Peter Carey

An off-the-radar power forward/center from Sunderland (Maryland) Northfield Mount Hermon, Carey does not appear in the 247Sports database. According to, he is 6-10 with a 7-1 wingspan.

AJ Casey

According to, the five-star power forward from Chicago Whitney Young is slated to take an official visit to Ohio State in June. Listed at 6-8, 180 pounds, Casey is the top prospect from Illinois, the No. 5 power forward and overall No. 20 national recruit.

Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Purdue, Nebraska, Gonzaga and others have offered.

He will take an official visit to Ohio State from June 6-8.

Bristol Central's Donovan Clingan watches Connecticut's men's and women's basketball players as they are interviewed by the media in Storrs, Conn, on Oct. 18, 2019.

Donovan Clingan

Ohio State is in the top eight for Clingan, a four-star center from Bristol (Connecticut) Central. The 7-1, 255-pound Clingan also has Connecticut, Georgetown, Michigan, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers and Syracuse on his list.

He is the No. 6 center prospect, the top recruit in his state and the No. 41 national recruit. According to, Clingan is planning to take an official visit to Ohio State from June 24-25 after taking visits to Michigan (June 12-13) and Syracuse (June 18-19).

Zuby Ejiofor

The four-star power forward from Garland, Texas, holds offers from Baylor, Texas, TCU, Kansas and Arkansas, among others. Listed at 6-8, 215 pounds, Ejiofor is the No. 4 prospect from his state, the No. 8 prospect at his position and the overall No. 39 national recruit.

Kyle Filipowski

Ohio State is one of five schools scheduled to host the 6-11, 230-pound power forward from Wilbraham (Massachusetts) Wilbraham & Monson Academy on an official visit during the weekend of June 12. A four-star prospect ranked No. 56 nationally, Filipowski will also visit Syracuse, Indiana, Iowa and Duke. The Hoosiers and Blue Devils are not known to have yet offered him a scholarship.

The Buckeyes offered last summer.

Braden Huff

An unranked recruit in the composite rankings, the 6-9, 205-pound Huff is a versatile forward who holds offers from Wisconsin, Northwestern, Virginia Tech and Creighton and has been in touch with multiple Big Ten schools. 247Sports’ own rankings list him as a four-star prospect from Carol Stream (Illinois) Glenbard West.

Alex Karaban

Indiana, Iowa, Purdue and LSU are among the list of schools to have offered the 6-7, 190-pound product of New Hampton, New Hampshire, a scholarship. A four-star recruit, Karaban is the top prospect from his state, the No. 18 small forward in the nation and overall No. 71 prospect.

Dereck Lively

A 7-1 center, the 220-pound Lively is a four-star prospect from Bellefonte (Pennsylvania) Westtown School. Ohio State offered him last summer, and he also holds offers from Michigan, North Carolina and Oklahoma, among others. He is the No. 35 national recruit, the top prospect from the state and the No. 4 center in the nation.

Dillon Mitchell

A strong spring season earned him an Ohio State scholarship offer in late April, and they have kept pouring in for the four-star small forward from Spring Hill (Florida) Bishop McLaughlin Catholic. Since the start of April, the 6-7, 180-pound Mitchell has added offers from Penn State, Illinois, Tennessee, Auburn, Florida State, Arkansas and Miami (Florida).

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He’s ranked No. 129 nationally, No. 37 at his position and No. 18 in his state. He is scheduled to take an official visit to Ohio State from June 20-22, Auburn (June 8-10) and Tennessee (June 27-29).

Hamilton Heights center Felix Okpara guards Hillcrest Prep guard Dalen Terry during a game in December 2019.

Felix Okpara

The No. 37 national recruit, Okpara is a 6-11, 210-pound center from Chattanooga (Tennessee) Hamilton Heights Christian Academy. He recently landed an offer from Ohio State and also holds offers from Nebraska, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas and Oklahoma State, among others.

He will take an official visit to Ohio State.

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Okpara is the No. 5 center prospect in the 2022 class.

Julian Phillips

A four-star prospect, the 6-8, 200-pound Phillips holds more than 20 offers from a list of schools that includes Ohio State, Indiana, Alabama, Kansas, Florida State and Xavier. The power forward from Blythewood, South Carolina, is ranked No. 27 nationally, No. 7 at his position and No. 1 in his state.

Shawn Phillips

A Dayton native who transferred to Ypsilanti (Michigan) Ypsi Prep Academy last season, Phillips has unofficially visited Ohio State already. Listed at 6-10, 250 pounds, Phillips is a four-star center prospect ranked fourth in Michigan, 12th at his position and 83rd nationally.

Ypsi Prep's Shawn Phillips dunks against Henderson, Nevada's Air Nado Coronado in Fort Worth, Texas, on Jan. 9.

Indiana, Maryland, Dayton, Cincinnati, N.C. State and others have offered. The Buckeyes offered in October 2019 and are part of a top seven that also includes Florida, Indiana, N.C. State, West Virginia, Cincinnati and Dayton.

Tarris Reed

Listed as a power forward, the 6-10, 230-pound Reed is ranked No. 94 nationally and No. 17 among power forwards. A four-star recruit, Reed plays for St. Louis (Missouri) Chaminade.

Kansas has recently offered, joining a list that includes Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and multiple others. The Buckeyes offered in August.

Isaac Traudt

A power forward from Grand Island, Nebraska, Traudt landed an offer from the Buckeyes in August. At 6-9, 205 pounds, Traudt also holds offers from a number of schools, including Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Wisconsin, Kansas, North Carolina and Virginia.

He is the No. 50 national recruit, the No. 9 power forward and top prospect from Nebraska.

Jalen Washington

The Buckeyes offered Washington, a five-star prospect, in late April. A versatile power forward, the 6-9, 210-pound product of Gary (Indiana) West Side is the top prospect from his state, the No. 19 national recruit and the No. 4 power forward.

Gary West Side's Jalen Washington defends Carmel's Charlie Williams in the Class 4A state semifinal on March 20.

North Carolina and Stanford are slated to land official visits this June. Washington holds offers from a list that includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Purdue, Alabama and Oklahoma.

Patrick Wessler

A 7-footer, Wessler is a three-star prospect from Charlotte Combine Academy. Iowa, Wake Forest, Ole Miss and Providence, among others, have offered the 235-pound center. He’s ranked No. 232 nationally and No. 10 at his position.