Ohio State men's basketball Head Coach Thad Matta and assistants Archie Miller and Alan Major have been in hot pursuit of four star prospect Lenzelle Smith from Zion-Benton High School in Zion, Illinois.
That hard work has paid off. The guard has made his verbal commitment to Matta and the Buckeyes on Sunday to join the already loaded 2010 recruiting class.
After announcing his commitment, Smith told the Columbus Dispatch, "When I took my official visit (in August), stepping on campus, I just knew Ohio State was the best school I could accomplish my personal goals at and win a national championship for my class."
Smith is rated the No. 2 prospect in his class from Illinois and No. 97 nationally by Rivals.com, which calls him an "unorthodox guard" because of his 6' 3", 205-pound frame, 6' 9" wingspan, and an "affinity for physical play".
The high school junior, who has a 4.1 grade-point average, chose Ohio State over Stanford, Virginia, Boston College, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Marquette, and Illinois, among others.
Matta projects Smith as a combo guard with the ability to run the point. Smith said he'll play anywhere.
"I'm versatile. I just play. Wherever it is I need to be, that's where I am," he said. "Coach Thad told me he sees me as a jack of all trades. I try to do it all."
Smith was Ohio State's second guard to commit to the 2010 class in as many days. On Saturday, Jordan Sibert of Cincinnati Princeton committed during Ohio State's football game against Troy in Ohio Stadium.
Sibert, a 6' 4", 180-pound shooting guard is rated a five star recruit by Rivals and choose Ohio State over Purdue, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, and Kentucky, among others.
Smith and Sibert join a 2010 recruiting class that is shaping up to be one of the nation's finest. Other already committed recruits include five star recruits and power forwards DeShaun Thomas and Jared Sullinger, who is the younger brother of former Buckeye standout J.J. Sullinger.
The combo of Sullinger and Thomas are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively by Rivals.com.