Okafor Set To Visit Ohio State

The Ohio State coaching staff has been hot on the tail of Jahlil Okafor, the top-rated center in the class of 2014. Okafor is in the beginning stages of his recruitment, but he is set to visit Ohio State soon. Get all the details inside.

Ohio State head coach Thad Matta and assistant coach Jeff Boals didn't mince words when speaking to Chuck Okafor, the father of top 2014 prospect Jahlil Okafor.

"Ohio State, they're high on Jahlil and they really want him to be a part of the 2014 class," Chuck told BSB. "They feel like it can be a very special class. Coach Boals, Coach Matta, they made it known. They'd love to have him in this program."

Apparently it didn't take long for Ohio State's coaching staff to fall in love with the 6-8, 255-pound center prospect, who has already become one of the most coveted recruits in his class despite being only 15 years old.

Rated as the No. 2 player in the class of 2014, Jahlil has already received a multitude of interest from elite programs. The prospect out of Chicago Whitney Young already has already garnered offers from schools programs such as Ohio State, Arizona, Illinois, Arkansas and others.

"He can handle it, but he isn't really a person that likes all the publicity that he is receiving," Chuck said. "He really likes being a kid at this point in his life.

"He loves that schools are looking at him and appreciating his ability, but he's is still kid. He really hasn't done too much in his life. He is only 15. He understands that if he keeps working hard the sky's the limit."

Jahlil took a trip to Arizona the weekend of Sept. 17, an unofficial visit Chuck explained was just one of many opportunities for his son to continue to gain information and knowledge about his impending college decision.

Only in his sophomore season in high school, however, Chuck said his son is still in an informational stage. Rather than analyzing the schools he's currently visiting, Jhalil is more concerned with becoming acclimated to the recruiting process.

His next scheduled trip is to Ohio State the weekend of Oct. 1 and will attend the Buckeyes Big Ten football opener against Michigan State.

"He is just getting a feel. He is getting feel for these unofficial visits. It is something new for him," Chuck said. "At this point in time he is just been joyful. He really just enjoys the visits. He has built a relationship with Jared Sullinger. It should just be a good all-around trip to see the campus, get to meet some of the coaches."

A distant cousin of New Orleans Hornets center Emeka Okafor, Jahlil isn't foreign to getting attention early in his career. Jahlil was given an offer by DePaul when he was only in eighth grade.

Chuck doesn't anticipate his son will be deep in the recruiting process until his junior season — still over a year away — it's quite possible programs could have an impact on Jahlil early in his visits.

Ohio State has one of Jahlil's former high school teammates on its current roster in freshman Sam Thompson and the two communicate on a regular basis.

"He speaks with Sam frequently," Chuck said. "Sam always comes back up to the high school, he is a great kid and provides Jahlil with a lot of knowledge and helping Jahlil with the situation that he's in."

Though Jahlil has enjoyed the early portions of his recruiting process, Chuck has maintained that coming to a decision or even narrowing down his list is something that won't happen until far into the future.

Instead, Chuck has instilled in his son that hard work must continue if he hopes to play at one of the colleges currently courting him in three years.

"He is not even really considering what college he is going to go to," Chuck said. "It is more of a motivation, just showing him as long as he keeps working hard that this is what could be the road ahead."

Chuck will be accompanying his son to Ohio State, which is expected to be a learning experience for both of them.

"We watched Ohio State all year and I think (Jahlil) is a huge fan of Jared Sullinger," Chuck said. "We are just so far away and there are going to be so many factors in what school he eventually decides to attend, I couldn't even make a judgment call on that right now. We are just taking it step by step."

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