The Ohio State Buckeyes earned an important commitment from 2019 top-50 forward E.J. Liddell last week. Liddell chose the Buckeyes over Missouri and Illinois. Take a look at his commitment video below.
Ohio State’s 2019 class is now likely complete. Let’s take a 40,000-foot view on what the class and commitment means for the program, coach Holtmann, and the Big Ten over the next several years.
Ohio State Has The Best 2019 Recruiting Class In The Big Ten
At this point in the recruiting cycle, this doesn’t seem up for debate. Both Rivals and 247Sports have the Buckeyes’ 2019 class at fifth in the country. There are still many of the top players in the country left to commit.
Big Ten programs Indiana, Michigan State, Michigan, and Maryland all will still have a chance to say something about this, but given their composite score on Rivals and 247Sports, it is hard to see how this Buckeye class falls outside the top-15 in the nation when signing day comes. That would be the best class for the Buckeyes since 2015. Buckeye fans will be hoping that the 2019 class has more success than that one though, as all of those players eventually transferred out of the program.
Liddell Solidifies Ohio State’s Frontcourt
Moving on to Liddell and his skill, and he is an ideal recruit for the program and this class.
Ohio State needed another Keita Bates-Diop type wing in their rotation, and that’s what Liddell thinks he can be with the Buckeyes.
Liddell, who stands at 6-foot-7 and weighs in at 220 pounds, stands to be a versatile force for the Buckeyes. He can do a little bit of everything. As evidenced from the highlight video below, Liddell excels in shooting, rebounding, and blocking shots. He can also get out in transition and put it on the floor. Pairing him with another top-50 versatile forward Alonzo Gaffney, who is a little bigger, will mean a variety of lineup options around these two. Expect them to play well together.
(video courtesy of Rivals)
Holtmann Is Proving Himself To Be One Of The Big Ten’s Best Recruiters
In many ways, the 2019 class is Holtmann’s first real class as the Buckeyes head coach. He pieced together a solid 2018 class, but this is his first full recruiting cycle class.
And he killed it.
The Buckeyes have reeled in three top-40 players and more importantly the three players who were likely their biggest targets. Holtmann has proved that his recruiting ability and the resources at Ohio State are already a lethal combination. As everyone witnessed with his X’s and O’s at Butler and Ohio State last season, Holtmann can coach with the best of them.
Ohio State lost 3/5ths of their starting lineup entering the 2018-’19 season, so it is hard to say how well the Buckeyes will do this year. One thing we do know is that Holtmann has the Buckeyes rolling on the recruiting trail, and, with his coaching ability, that will translate to a consistent threat to win the Big Ten each season.