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Offer Season: Central Ohio proving to be a hotbed for 2018 and 2019

By Zach Fleer, 07/19/17, 2:25PM EDT


Players all over Central Ohio are picking up scholarship offers this summer

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- June and July are two of the busiest months for college basketball recruiting, as programs spend precious time and money to travel the country to view the nation's best talent. Much of that talent happens to reside inside of Central Ohio, as the area's rising juniors and seniors have been hotly pursued on the recruiting trail this summer.

As our 270 Hoops Recruiting Wire has covered the daily movement for the last few months, we decided to break it down for all of the area to digest. Who has been racking up offers as of late? Let's take a look below.

Division I Commitments

Jerome Hunter (6'7 SF / Pickerington North / 2018)

Committed to Indiana

Hunter chose Indiana over Ohio State, Michigan, Xavier and Pitt. Ending roughly a month long chase between the final five schools above, Hunter went with familiarity, committing to Archie Miller and the Hoosiers. Hunter has been one of the Midwest's hottest prospects, rising to No. 44 in the country according to ESPN. 

Jerome Hunter is Indiana bound (Mitch Brown / Central Ohio Photography)

Dane Goodwin (6'5 SG / Upper Arlington / 2018)

Committed to Notre Dame

After a two and a half year commitment to Ohio State, Dane Goodwin reopened his recruitment on June 21. Only two weeks later, Goodwin would commit to Notre Dame. In a shocking turn of events, Goodwin joins a Notre Dame class ripe with quality wing guard commits including Washington D.C.'s Prentiss Hubb (No. 73 according to ESPN) and Pittsburgh's Robby Carmody. 

Division I Offers

Jeremiah Francis (6'2 PG / Pickerington Central / 2019)

Offered by Ohio State, Indiana, Florida State, Dayton and Duquesne

The consensus No. 1 player in Ohio's 2019 class, Francis has been nothing short of amazing in the AAU season, leading Indiana Elite to a perfect regular season record in the Adidas Gauntlet. The offers have come along, too. Picking up scholarships from the new staffs at Ohio State, Indiana and Dayton, Francis also added an offer from Florida State, an offer that not many players from Ohio receive. Francis told 270 Hoops that he is looking to wait until his senior year before making a decision, which could really blow up his already hot recruitment. Francis has 16 offers in total. 

Jeremiah Francis has emerged as Ohio's top player in 2019 (Mitch Brown / Central Ohio Photography)

Adrian Nelson (6'7 SF / Pickerington Central / 2018)

Offered by Canisius, Sacred Heart, Youngstown State, Albany and Robert Morris

Up to eight total Division I offers now, Pickerington Central's Nelson has been a hot commodity after the first two weekends of July. With four offers in the last week alone, Nelson could really help his stock this weekend with an impressive performance in Louisville. The long and athletic wing has improved as a scorer off the bounce, which has helped his stock elevate to an even higher level. 

Taevion Kinsey (6'4 CG / Eastmoor / 2018)

Offered by Akron, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Ohio, James Madison and Wright State

Following a breakout junior season for Eastmoor, Kinsey has taken his above the rim theatrics to the AAU hardwood. Racking up six total Division I offers since the end of the high school season, Kinsey is becoming a hot commodity in Ohio's 2018 class.  A big weekend in Louisville with OH-Nova Tillman could help him reel in a few more MAC offers. 

Josh Corbin (6'3 SG / Gahanna / 2019)

Offered by Toledo, Cleveland State and Akron

Gahanna's Corbin did not stop his upward momentum after a breakout sophomore season. Picking up three mid-major offers on the AAU scene with All-Ohio Red, Corbin has emerged as one of the state's deadliest shooters from deep. Corbin's shooting and ability to create off the dribble are intriguing for programs looking for deadeye shooters in a game that is becoming more and more three-ball oriented. When Corbin gets in a rhythm, he really gets it going as he is one of the toughest players to stop when he's in the zone. 

Gahanna's Josh Corbin has picked up three offers this summer (Mitch Brown / Central Ohio Photography)

Braden Norris (5'11 PG / Hilliard Bradley / 2018)

Offered by Presbyterian, Oakland and Robert Morris

All Norris does is win. Whether its in a Hilliard Bradley uniform or out with All-Ohio Red in the EYBL, Norris is a hardened winner who does all the little things to help lead his teams to victory. With seven offers in total, Norris has added three Division I scholarships this summer, as Presbyterian, Oakland and Robert Morris have pulled the trigger during the live period. Norris also holds offers from Air Force and Binghamton, to go along with two quality Division II offers from Ashland and Northwood. 

Jelani Simmons (6'5 SG / Beechcroft / 2018)

Offered by Youngstown State and Tennessee State

An absolute breakout player this spring and summer, Simmons' stock is sizzling after an impressive shooting performance on the AAU scene. With three other Division II offers from Fairmont State, Lewis and Tiffin, Simmons has attracted serious Division I interest, as Youngstown State and Tennessee State have offered in the last week. A lengthy wing guard who can light it up from three in addition to having the ability to cause havoc around the rim, Simmons could pick up some more offers this weekend with another impressive live period performance with All-Ohio Black.

Eli McNamara (6'9 PF / Pickerington North / 2018)

Offered by Lafayette and Army West Point

A high-academic post player with a litany of skills, McNamara has added two more Division I offers to his already impressive offer sheet. With Stony Brook, Notre Dame College and Urbana already offering scholarships prior to the AAU season, McNamara has impressed with OH-Nova Rice this spring and summer. Lafayette is the latest to offer, while Army West Point extended McNamara a scholarship back in June on an unofficial visit to the campus. On a high school team ripe with scholarship level talent, McNamara's stock is only getting hotter. 

Ross Ryan (6'8 C / Pickerington North / 2018) - Offered by Air Force

Ryan has now been offered by Air Force and Urbana. Look for his list to keep growing in the high school season. Ryan is a long post player who could really benefit with a strong senior year. 

Max Martz (6'6 SF / Upper Arlington / 2019) - Offered by Toledo

Martz added his second Division I offer in early July, as Toledo offered the long 6-foot-6 wing. A terrific shooter who can fill it up from all over the floor, Martz' only other Division I offer is from Western Carolina, where 2016 Upper Arlington graduate Onno Steger is a sophomore wing.  

Matt Allocco (6'2 PG / Hilliard Bradley / 2020) - Offered by Miami (OH)

Allocco is the lone 2020 prospect to receive an offer this summer, as Miami (OH) pulled the trigger in June. A quality guard with good size and elite shooting ability, Allocco is near or on top of many of the regional Division I programs' lists at point guard. 

William Mfum (6'2 CG / Northland / 2019) - Offered by Youngstown State

Mfum became the first player in Central Ohio to be offered by the new staff at Youngstown State last month. As Mfum's skill set and IQ continue to improve, look for his offer sheet to grow as he checks all the boxes athletically. 

Northland's William Mfum is one of the state's hardest workers (Mitch Brown / Central Ohio Photography)

Division II Offers

Garrett Tipton (6'5 SG / Bishop Hartley / 2018)

Offered by Ashland, Alderson-Broaddus, Wheeling Jesuit, Urbana and Findlay

As we predicted back in May, Tipton has emerged as the top priority Division II recruit in the area, picking up five quality D2 offers since then. Impressing on the AAU scene with VCC-Nova Beard, Tipton has embraced a role change with his new team as its primary scorer and leader. A terrific shot maker with great size on the wing, Tipton is a very good Division II prospect who could attract some Division I interest from regional programs. A strong weekend in Louisville could do wonders for Tipton. 

Tre Baumgardner (6'1 PG / Africentric / 2018)

Offered by Ashland and Minnesota State

Baumgardner's time finally came last week when he received his first Division II offer from Ashland. Not even an hour later, Minnesota State pulled the trigger. A terrific lead guard who has impressed with Team Blaze Select out of Indiana this spring and summer, Baumgardner is emerging as the top priority Division II recruit at point guard in the area. A strong end to the live period heading into the high school season could see Baumgardner pick up some strong Division I interest. 

Isaiah Speelman (6'6 WF / Hilliard Bradley / 2018)

Offered by Cedarville and Urbana

Much like his high school teammate Norris, Speelman's name of the game is production and wins. After a record-breaking high school season at Hilliard Bradley in which Speelman helped the Jags set a program record for wins, the 6-foot-6 wing forward has been nothing short of productive on the AAU scene with OH-Nova Tillman. Speelman is a multi-dimensional offensive talent that just simply finds ways to get the job done, whether unorthodox or not. We see Speelman ending up as a quality Division II recruit who should be able to help a program immediately on the offensive end due to his skill level and polish alone.

Dondre Palmer (6'5 WG / Pickerington North / 2018)

Offered by Urbana and Shawnee State (NAIA)

Palmer is a high-energy and productive talent who excels especially on the defensive perimeter. Palmer's offensive game has improved consistently over the years, but his signature is his lockdown ability on the wing. The younger brother of All-American sprinter Desmond Palmer of Pitt, Dondre Palmer is a two-way talent with quick feet, athleticism and instincts that help him lock down the most talented of offensive players.

Jake McLoughlin (6'4 SF / Tri-Valley / 2018)

Offered by Ashland and St. Francis (NAIA)

A key role player on All-Ohio Red, McLoughlin added two quality offers this summer, with Ashland and St. Francis extending scholarships to the multi-sport athlete. McLoughlin is a high IQ and skilled wing who gets it done on both ends of the floor. While he may never wow you with flash,  McLoughlin is a hard-nosed player who can get it going on the interior and can defend on the post and on the wing. We wouldn't be surprised if McLoughlin ends up at one of the two programs to offer him up to this point. 

Lucas House (6'2 PG / Dublin Jerome / 2018) - Offered by Urbana

House has had a breakout AAU season of sorts with VCC-Nova Beard, picking up his first offer from Urbana after a strong showing in Chicago. House could reel in a few more Division II offers after this weekend. 

Jah Bennett (6'7 PF / Africentric / 2018) - Offered by Kentucky State

Bennett picked up his first Division II offer from Kentucky State last weekend, as the rising Africentric big man has enjoyed a strong AAU season with ISG-HG. Bennett is a sleeper of sorts in the 2018 class, as he offers considerable length and perimeter shooting ability to go along with a long and athletic frame. As he becomes more comfortable on the floor as a primary scorer, look for Bennett to really come into his own this season. 

Antonio Watson (5'10 PG / Newark / 2018) - Offered by Urbana

The former New Albany point guard, who has moved onto Newark, added his first offer from Urbana earlier in the summer. Watson is an improving guard who competes on both ends of the floor. Playing alongside Big Shots this AAU season, look for Watson's recruitment to continue to evolve at the Division II and III levels. A quality kid who just wants a chance to play at the next level, Watson has worked extremely hard to improve his game on both ends of the floor. 

Africentric's Jah Bennett is a big man to remember in 2018 (Mitch Brown / Central Ohio Photography)

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