Morgan Biding His Time Waiting For OSU Offer

Canton McKinley standout Raymar Morgan led his high school team to a state championship in March and the And One national high school summer tournament title recently. He is now ranked among the nation's top 40 seniors-to-be. But this 6-7 power forward apparently still has some work to do to land a scholarship offer from Ohio State. Check out Morgan's thoughts on where things stand with OSU and his other top schools.

The summer has been a good one already for Canton McKinley forward Raymar Morgan.

Morgan helped lead his McKinley team to a Division I state championship last March. The returning players on that team then went to the And One national high school summer tournament and came back with the top prize. Morgan had 26 points in the title game and was named the tourney MVP.

Shortly thereafter, his national ranking skyrocketed from 49th to 33rd. But even with his success, Morgan has been caught in a holding pattern of sorts. He has offers on the table from Michigan State and Michigan. But he seems content to wait for Ohio State to follow up and make him an offer as well.

The 6-7 Morgan met with a small group of reporters Wednesday evening at the Nike All-American Camp. He set the record straight on where things stand.

"It is pretty much a contingent offer," Morgan said. "I think they're just waiting to see what some other players are going to do and then they're going to get back to me. That's all right."

OSU already has commitments from four of the nation's top 25 players in Greg Oden, Daequan Cook, David Lighty and Mike Conley. But the class is missing a power forward. OSU is still after Memphis standout Thaddeus Young, ranked No. 3 nationally in the senior class. Young recently put OSU in his top three. But he seems to be in no hurry to make a decision, leaving Morgan to play the waiting game.

Morgan was asked if Ohio State had spelled out his situation in that way.

"I think it's between me and him," said Morgan, ranked behind Cook and Lighty as Ohio's No. 3 senior-to-be in Ohio High magazine. "They've said it's between me and him or they may just try and take us both."

Morgan was asked about where OSU stood in his pecking order.

"They have always been like second or third and they really haven't moved," he said. "Michigan State and Michigan are probably up there in my top three as well. They have both offered."

OSU is in the market for a player who will rebound and, in basic terms, do the dirty work on an otherwise star-studded team it is building. That job description seems to fit Morgan to a ‘T'.

"They're recruiting me pretty hard," Morgan said. "They just haven't offered. They just say, ‘Rebound the heck out of the ball.' "

Morgan has crossed paths with all of the OSU verbals on the various AAU and camp circuits.

"Those guys are all very gifted," he said. "It would probably be a pleasure to play with them. I know Daequan and David, but I don't really talk to them a lot."

Morgan said OSU's recent recruiting push has made it an attractive school.

"I really never thought about Ohio State growing up as being a basketball school," he said. "But now that all of these guys are going there, it's really getting exciting."

His high school coach, Dave Hoover, is a former head coach at Westerville North. There, he sent Shaun Stonerook to OSU in 1995.

"We really don't talk about it that much," Morgan said. "We'll probably talk about it when we get back into the season, I'm sure."

Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary standout Marcus Johnson, a teammate of Morgan's on the King James Shooting Stars AAU team, talked about what makes Morgan special.

"You've got to have a winning mentality," Johnson said Wednesday. "Raymar is a big man, but he can put it on the floor and do everything a guard can. When big guys are guarding him, it kind of makes it hard to guard him."

More Discussion

Morgan added comments on other topics, including:

* Winning the And One, which was broadcast nationally on CSTV -- "It was a lot of fun. It was aired on TV. We had a blast."

* On when he hopes to decide -- "I think I'm going to decide around the time of the official visit (in September)."

* On whether he has proved himself this summer -- "I think you have to stick with that attitude throughout anything you do. I think I'm still trying to get moved up higher and I have a lot to prove."

* On what he needs to improve -- "Probably shooting, but I have been working very hard to extend my range."

* On the positions he fits the best -- "Three and sometimes the four. Out here at Nike, I am playing the two through the five."

* On OSU's style of play -- "It seems like they do a lot of running. That's the style we play in high school. I like that style. They play a lot of four out, one in. Thad Matta is a great guy."

* On Michigan State -- "I really like their campus. I was there for an unofficial visit. They're just making sure they are No. 1 or No. 2 on my list and they are. Michigan has come on here for the last year or so."

* On repeating at McKinley -- "That's always the goal – to win the state championship. Now that we've done it, we're going to be expected to do it again. We've been working hard in the off-season to try and get back there again."

* On whether he is anxious to get his college choice over with -- "I think I am anxious about every school. It is kind of exciting with all of these big-time schools recruiting me. It's always been a dream and now I'm just trying to pursue it."

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