Recruiting notebook: Buckeyes host Brice Sensabaugh, offer Jerry Easter II, others

Adam Jardy
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Chris Holtmann claps on the sideline during the second half of Wednesday's NCAA Division I basketball game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Value City Arena in Columbus, Oh., on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Ohio State won the game 81-71.

The return of full crowds to football games has also meant one to a normal world of college basketball recruiting.

At Ohio State, that has meant a busy fall with players from multiple different recruiting classes taking official and unofficial visits during the weekends. Those trips have coincided with home football games, too, allowing potential future Buckeyes to take in basketball workouts and the pageantry of college football.

Since the Buckeyes hosted Oregon at Ohio Stadium on September 11, the men’s basketball program has welcomed in roughly a dozen recruits for games. Chris Holtmann’s program has also extended a few new scholarship offers as well while trying to fill in one final piece for the 2022 class.

It’s a lot to keep up with. With 2023 guard George Washington III planning to take an unofficial visit this weekend for the Akron game, here’s the latest on what the Buckeyes have been doing in recruiting while also preparing for the looming start to the 2021-22 preseason.

Brice Sensabaugh takes official visit

The Buckeyes remain in the market for a small forward in their 2022 class. Dillon Mitchell, a five-star prospect playing his senior season at Montverde (Florida) Academy), seemed close to filling that void during the summer but remains uncommitted and recently took a visit to Florida State. Meanwhile, Ohio State offered a scholarship to Sensabaugh, a rising recruit in the class who also played AAU ball with Mitchell during the summer.

Now a four-star prospect ranked No. 75 nationally according to the 247Sports.com composite database, Sensabaugh took an official visit to Ohio State last weekend as the Buckeyes hosted Tulsa. He was accompanied by his parents and, according to multiple sources, everything went well.

What that means for a final decision won’t be known for at least a few more days. One week prior, he took an official visit to Alabama, which along with Ohio State was included on a list of four finalists that also features Florida and Georgia Tech.

Chicago sophomores James Brown, Morez Johnson land offers

Sensabaugh wasn’t the only recruit in attendance for the game. A pair of 2024 recruits who visited were also given scholarship offers: James Brown and Morez Johnson, teammates at Chicago St. Rita. Brown, a 6-8, 210-pound power forward, also holds offers from Illinois, LSU, DePaul, Howard and other schools. A power forward listed at 6-8, 205, Johnson also holds offers from Illinois, Nebraska and others.

247Sports has not released recruiting rankings for the 2024 class. Both players were on unofficial visits.

Quartet of juniors including Austin Parks, Dailyn Swain visit

The Buckeyes have been active in offering Ohioans in the upcoming recruiting classes, and two of them were at the Tulsa game. Austin Parks, a center from St. Mary’s Memorial, and Dailyn Swain, a small forward from Africentric, were both at the game on unofficial visits.

Ohio State basketball:Hard work pays off for Africentric's Dailyn Swain with Ohio State scholarship offer

They were there alongside Pickerington Central forward Devin Royal, who has recently picked up an offer from Cleveland State to go with offers from Penn State, Dayton, Kansas State and others, and Malik Olafioye from Ecorse (Michigan) Community. A 6-2, 155-pound point guard, Olafioye holds 17 offers from mid-major schools and is a four-star prospect ranked No. 68 nationally in the 2023 class. Royal is unranked.

Ohio State offers 2025 recruit Jerry Easter II

He hasn’t yet taken the court for Springfield (Ohio) Emmanuel Christian, but freshman point guard Jerry Easter II landed a scholarship offer from Ohio State on Thursday night.

Recruiting rankings for the 2025 class are hard to come by, but a website called inthegymhoops.com ranked Easter as the No. 5 national prospect in an April update.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy