Courtesy of Adidas
Power forward Jaedon LeDee is now the first member of the Ohio State 2018 recruiting class after giving Chris Holtmann his verbal pledge on Tuesday. He is not the first player to commit to Holtmann since joining the Buckeyes but the Rivals150 star out of Houston gives the recruiting effort a big shot in the arm.
The 6-foot-9, 225-pounder visited the Buckeyes the week of the Oklahoma game and liked what Holtmann and Ohio State had to offer. LeDee picked the Buckeyes over a group of schools that included Cal, LSU, Oklahoma, UCLA and Texas A&M to name a few.
"The commitment of Jaedon LeDee for the Buckeyes is a great start for first year head coach Chris Holtmann in Columbus," Rivals.com basketball analyst Corey Evans said. "While their primary need is in the backcourt this fall, adding LeDee to their roster should only enhance their chances of competing for a Big Ten title."
Ohio State briefly had a 2018 commit when Torrance Watson gave a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes only to reconsider and switch his commitment to Missouri. The program also had the making of a class that committed under Thad Matta but no member of that class remains part of the class at this point.
What are the Buckeyes getting with the addition of LeDee once he signs and joins the program next year?
"What I really like about LeDee is how much he has matured on the floor while making his way through high school," Rivals.com basketball analyst Eric Bossi said. "From the beginning of his freshman year he has always put up big numbers but to see him learn to minimize mistakes and how to make use of his physical gifts has been impressive. He's really matured into a strong interior player who uses his ability to play some facing the rim to supplement his game rather than trying to play from outside in."
"LeDee brings an improving skillset to the court along with unbelievable set of physical tangibles," Evans added. "He is someone that can play a variety of positions in the frontcourt and looking back at the way Holtmann had used some of his forwards at Butler, placing them in positions to succeed but also relying on them to defend more than one spot but also play facing the basket and against it, LeDee should have the chance to fit in well and contribute immediately"
The 2018-19 Ohio State Buckeyes will look a lot different than the current team with the upcoming departures of Jae'Sean Tate and Kam Williams. The team will undergo a major turnover as well with Holtmann and his staff looking to get the Buckeyes closer to the 13-scholarship limit.
"I think (LeDee will) be a good Big Ten rebounder and that he should have some scoring pop as well," Bossi said. "He plays hard, will arrive on campus with a body that will allow him to compete physically as a freshman and I think it's a great way for the Buckeyes to get their 2018 recruiting kicked off."
We will have more on this breaking news for the Ohio State men's basketball recruiting effort later today.