Urban Meyer won’t be the only Ohio State coach with a lot on the line come Saturday.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, three potential basketball prospects in the 2013 class will be visiting Thad Matta and Ohio State this weekend. All three recruits plan on attending the football showdown between the Buckeyes and Cornhuskers.
This news is very encouraging for Ohio State fans that follow recruiting. The Horseshoe is always a raucous atmosphere, and taking in a night game under the lights will certainly have an impact on these high school students.
That type of passion and devotion should appeal to these prospects who will undoubtedly envision themselves playing in front of the same fans.
One of those visiting prospects is center BeeJay Anya, who is considered a 4-star center by Scout. Anya is only 6’8” but his strength and unnaturally long wingspan help make up for a lack of height.
Anya is also an effective rebounder, which is something Ohio State could use now that Jared Sullinger is in the NBA. Anya’s not the most athletic prospect in the 2013 class, but he would fit nicely alongside Deshaun Thomas and Amir Williams, if both remain on campus next season.
Joining Anya in Columbus on Saturday will be small forward Ishmail Wainright. The Maryland-native is a 4-star prospect (per Scout) who previously committed to Missouri before deciding to reopen his recruitment.
Which of these prospects would help Ohio State the most?
Wainright stands at 6’5” and weighs nearly 220 pounds. His combination of size, power and athleticism makes him a matchup nightmare—similar in the way Buckeye opponents struggle to defend Thomas.
Interestingly, Ohio State already landed a commitment from Maryland-native Kameron Williams, although it is yet to be seen if that will have any impact on Wainright's decision.
While Wainright and Anya are highly-regarded by recruiting services, the third player making the trip to Columbus is somewhat unheralded. Ohio-native Nigel Hayes, who is unranked in the ESPN100 and is a 3-star power forward on Scout, will also attend the football game Saturday.
If Matta is intent on convincing Hayes to become a Buckeye, the fact that Marc Loving—who has already given his verbal pledge to the Ohio State coach—is a teammate of Hayes on their All-Ohio Red AAU squad should certainly help.
Hayes stands at 6’7” and is the younger brother of former Ohio State defensive lineman Kenny Hayes.
Ohio State’s 2013 class is currently ranked No. 22 on Scout, but there are scholarships to be had. It would be very surprising if Matta isn’t able to move that class ranking considerably higher by the time signing day rolls around.
The atmosphere at Saturday’s football game could be a major boost.