B.J. Mullens, a 6-foot-10 member of the Class of 2008, committed to the Ohio State Buckeyes. The commitment from a freshman who has never played a single game of high school ball is not without precedent. Last year, Taylor King committed to UCLA prior to the start of his freshman year.
"This is only his third year of basketball," World Harvest Prep athletics director Mark Bradley said. "He's a big man who is working on getting stronger. He's not reached his potential yet. You don't have to teach him new tricks because he's doesn't have any [tricks] right now."
Mullens did put together a resume this summer. At the adidas Camp in Georgia, Mullens was named to the underclassman all-star game. He's got size and goes about 215 so it's not like the Buckeyes are taking a flier on a kid; this freshman has legitimate long term potential.
The commitment will probably come as a big surprise, especially those in the Big Ten region, but Mullens had a predisposition to the Buckeyes. "If you're born in Columbus it's in your blood," Bradley said. "He's a family kid and wanted to make sure his family could see him play."
Matta, a noted successful recruiter, used player development to lure Mullens. "Thad is energetic. In the case of B.J., there's a lot that can play but there's only a few that can play at the next level. Matta's proven that he can get kids to the next level."
The commitment for Ohio State is a statement to the fact that the Buckeyes plan on protecting their turf within the borders. It also might not be the last commitment OSU takes from a young prospect. "He's got a friend, RaShawn Goins, in Cleveland," Bradley said. "B.J. and him are like two peas in a pod. They've always wanted to go to the same school."