When the Ohio State Buckeyes hired Chris Holtmann to succeed Thad Matta as their men’s basketball head coach, one of the first (and biggest) questions that came up was about 2017 four-star recruit Kyle Young. Would he follow Holtmann from Butler to Ohio State? On Monday, that question was answered. After being granted his release from Butler, the Massillon native has decided to stay home and become a Buckeye.
Back in November, Young pegged Ohio State as one of his final five schools, but decided to commit to the Bulldogs and signed with them during the early signing period, one week before he was scheduled to officially visit to Columbus. The No. 77 ranked player and No. 18 small forward in the 2017 class, Young’s commitment gives Ohio State the Top 2 Ohio kids in the class of 2017, with center Kaleb Wesson having already committed (and enrolled) at Ohio State. With the two top players in the state, this shows a changing of the guard at Ohio State. Part of the reason why Thad Matta was fired was because of his struggles in recruiting, especially in Ohio.
With Young playing at nearby Massillon Jackson, I was able to watch him play multiple times during his high school career, including this past winter’s regional semifinal game against Medina at the University of Akron’s James A. Rhodes Arena. The 6-foot-7 can do it all. Whether it’s shoot from the outside or show-off his incredible dunking ability, Young can also take bigger guys off the dribble from the outside and post up (and score) against smaller opponents.
When he committed to Butler over Ohio State, among others, back in November, WFNY was told that he did so because Holtmann offered him immediate and significant playing time as a freshman. With the Buckeyes now only having 10 players on scholarship, including Young himself, Holtmann will be able to offer the same in Columbus. He may need some time to grow and get used to the college fame, the forward also provides plenty of much-needed depth across the roster as well.
Obviously, Holtmann is excited to have the former Butler commit follow him to the Buckeyes.
“We are very excited to add Kyle to the 2017 class,” Holtmann said in a statement. “His versatility, motor and work ethic make him a great addition to our program. We really look forward to getting him to campus to join his teammates.”
Ironically, he played his last high school game at the Schottenstein Center, where he helped lead the Jackson Polar Bears to the Division I state title. He will now call that same arena his home for at least the next year.
Ohio State may struggle in Holtmann’s first year in Columbus, but Young, along with Wesson, can be centerpieces for the future and help lead the Buckeyes to bigger and better things going forward.