football

Head start on 2014 key for Ohio State

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MORE: Ohio State lands top 20 junior
The early signing period for class of 2013 players ends on Wednesday.
At Ohio State, the Buckeyes have signed their guys in Kameron Williams and Marc Loving.
However, what Thad Matta and the Buckeyes have done with the class of 2014 during the 2013 signing period has been quite impressive and will help them down the road.
On Sunday, Ohio State landed the No. 20 player in the class of 2014, Keita Bates-Diop, a 6-foot-7 wing from Normal (Ill.) University. Monday, it added another highly regarded wing in Pickerington (Ohio) Central's Jae'Sean Tate, the No. 69 player in 2014.
Ostensibly, these two play the same position. But they are versatile and allow for plenty of flexibility.
Bates-Diop is a long and fluid guy. He shoots well from the corners, he's a glider in transition and he's an outstanding weak-side shot blocker. He's grown enough that you could see him being used as a skilled face-up four man if the Buckeyes want to go small.
On the other hand, Tate is a brawler. At 6-foot-5, he's mean, he's nasty and he's physical. Similar to a P.J. or Alando Tucker type, he's a power wing who likes to catch around 15 feet and then drive hard to the goal. He can be part of a big and physical lineup at either the two or the three because of his defensive prowess, or he can add a physical edge on the wing with Bates-Diop when the Buckeyes go small.
One of the biggest benefits of having these guys done is that it gives the OSU staff members freedom and alleviates pressure. Their top two 2014 wing targets are out of the way, and they can focus on going after bigs and a point guard. It also allows them to get a bit of a head start on the class of 2015.
Finally, it seemed as if there had perhaps been a little grousing about the job Matta and his staff were doing on the recruiting trail. Locking up these guys early is proof that there was never anything to worry about and that Matta, his staff and the Ohio State brand still carry a big stick on the recruiting trail.
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