Early in July at the Nike All-American camp, Raymar Morgan wooed onlookers with an impressive performance that dubbed him as one of the top players in the entire camp. It was enough for Ohio State head basketball coach Thad Matta to finally offer a scholarship in hopes of making Morgan the fifth member of the Ohio State class.
Now, Ohio State finds itself in a fight with Michigan State and Michigan to do a little wooing of their own.
Bucknuts spoke with Morgan, the 6-8 forward from Canton McKinley, on Sunday evening, and got a few direct answers from him as to where he's leaning and what has mattered the most in recent weeks.
One of the most notable factors in Morgan's recruitment has been the difference in attention from Michigan State and Ohio State in earlier months for the Division I state champion, who averaged 19.9 points and 9.9 rebounds a game this past season as a junior.
While Michigan State has had an offer on the table the entire summer, Ohio State offered theirs the day after completion of the Nike Camp. Some reports have suggested that the timing of the offer have been a topic of discussion and perhaps even hostility with those close to Morgan's recruitment.
However, sources familiar with the situation indicate that although these feelings might exist, a decision will ultimately rest on how things go over the course of the next month, and most specifically, how Morgan's visits will stack up. As of now, Morgan plans to visit Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State, with Connecticut and North Carolina also having a shot of landing a visit.
We dealt with many of these issues with Morgan to get the latest. Here is the transcript of the entire interview:
Bucknuts: With AAU season winding down, what's next for you?
Raymar Morgan: Just working out with the team and as an individual.
BN: How would you rate your summer performance?
RM: I would say around a 7 out of 10. I am happy with it.
BN: You have been saying that you're trying to focus on just a few schools now, late in the process. What schools are you still looking at?
RM: Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Connecticut and North Carolina.
BN: How big of an impact is it that Michigan State offered you a scholarship early, where as Ohio State offered you more recently?
RM: It's pretty big, but then again, the visits are what really is going to count for my decision.
BN: Do you have any of your visits set up, and when will you begin taking them?
RM: I think I'm going to take them in September, but they aren't set up just yet.
BN: Compare, if you would, each of the main schools and give me one positive and one negative about each one.
RM: There are really no negatives with any of them. All of them are top-notch. I really like OSU and it's close to home… Michigan State: I like their team chemistry and the environment. Michigan: I like Tommy Amaker.
BN: Talk about the relationship you and your family has to former Michigan State guard Eric Snow, and what sort of impact he has had, as well as what he has said to you about your decision.
RM: He's really not trying to get me to go to Michigan State, just trying to let me know it's my choice to make the best decision I can. He has been good to me.
BN: The reports are that Michigan State holds a slight edge over Ohio State and Michigan right now. Is that accurate?
RM: Yeah, maybe right now it is.
BN: Is your family on the same page with you about your opinion of the schools, or do they have different preferences and opinions?
RM: Actually, I really haven't talked to them about it too much. We're just trying to get things set up.
BN: What factors are you most heavily weighing in your decision right now?
RM: Just the visit, and how much I like it. Actually, I think team chemistry and comfort level (on the visit) will make a difference too.
BN: Are you getting exhausted of the recruiting process and ready for it to end with a decision?
RM: Yeah, I would say that's it. I'm a little tired of it, but it's okay with me. I'm not ready to do it (make a decision) just yet.