Matta Lands Another Big One for 2014
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Matta Express is picking up steam once again.
Less than 48 hours after landing his first commitment for the class of 2014, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta was at it again, picking up a second commitment in as many days.
The Buckeyes received a verbal pledge from Pickerington (Ohio) Central’s Jae’Sean Tate on Monday, which comes on the heels of a commitment from 6-7 forward Keita Bates-Diop out of Normal, Ill.
Like Bates-Diop, Tate is a 4-star prospect in the class 2014 and one of the more talked about wing players in the country. The 6-5 small forward had landed some big offers in recent months, including a very seductive one from John Beilein and the Michigan Wolverines, but it wasn’t enough to pry the Columbus native away from his hometown.
Jae’Sean is the son of former Buckeye Jermaine Tate, who played under Randy Ayers for two years at Ohio State before transferring to Cincinnati back in 1998. Tate averaged less than five points per game in two seasons with the Bearcats, but that was not his job at UC.
The Bearcats had plenty of scoring, but Tate was a defensive specialist who cleaned the glass alongside Kenyon Martin down in Cincinnati after leaving the Buckeyes following the 1996-97 season.
In his final year at Ohio State, Jermaine Tate averaged 4.1 points per game and 6.4 boards in 16 games before a mysterious heart condition sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Now it’s his son who is a highly-touted hoops prospect out of the Columbus area. Along with his Ohio State offer, Jae’Sean also had offers from Michigan, Iowa, Purdue, Xavier and Dayton before he pulled the trigger on Tuesday.
He is rated as the No. 69 player overall in the class of 2013 by Rivals.com, but Scout.com has him all the way up at No. 48 in their rankings. It was expected to be a Michigan-Ohio State battle for hi services in 2014, so it’s somewhat fitting he made the call during Michigan Week in Columbus.
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