Months of indecision and anguish have come to an end for Upper Sandusky's Jon Diebler. After breaking off his verbal commitment to Valparaiso, Diebler has decided to become the first commitment in the class of 2007 for Ohio State.
Earlier this week, Bucknuts.com reported Diebler was set to make an announcement at his school on Tuesday morning, and his decision was to be broken publicly by the local newspaper in Upper Sandusky – The Daily Chief Union.
However, an indefinite delay in plans due to a few family issues pushed back the decision. But today, in the Friday afternoon edition of the Daily Chief Union, the family has broken their silence by announcing for the Buckeyes by letting the local newspaper run their story exclusively first.
"I'm going to Ohio State to play basketball," Diebler was quoted as saying in today's Daily Chief Union. "I think they have a really good shot at winning a national championship. That was one of my goals when I was deciding on a college."
Diebler committed to Valparaiso last fall before his sophomore season. This past year, he averaged 26.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists a game in helping lead the Upper Sandusky Rams to a Division II state title.
His success led him to being second-team All-Ohio in Division II, with his brother Jake being first-team and Division II co-Player of the Year along with Daequan Cook of Dayton Dunbar.
It was this past March when Diebler became a household name, however, when he scored 29 points and grabbed nine rebounds against Cook and Dunbar in the state semifinals which followed up 33 points in the regional finals versus Akron St. Vincent – St. Mary.
He outdid himself further in the Division II State Championship by scoring 32 points and grabbing 14 rebounds, which put him on the national map heading into AAU season.
Diebler was diagnosed with mononucleosis later this summer, which affected his play through much of the AAU season for Jerry Watson's All-Ohio Red. But a rough summer became worse when he began second-guessing his commitment to Valparaiso with his brother.
So finally in July, Diebler asked Valparaiso if he could look around at a few other schools – Ohio State, Michigan and N.C. State. He visited N.C. State and then took a couple of trips each to Michigan and Ohio State, with the most recent trip to Columbus being for the Ohio State – Texas football game.
It was believed that Diebler indicated to the Ohio State coaches on that visit he was interested in being a Buckeye, but had to first decide if he could break off his commitment with the Crusaders.
After a couple of weeks, however, Diebler was finally able to inform the Valparaiso coaching staff this past Monday evening that he was going to go to Ohio State. It was a tough thing to do, leaving his brother Jake and Homer Drew behind.
"Jake said I need to go where I want to go," Jon said. "That's what made it tough for me to decide to go (to OSU) because Jake was (at Valparaiso). Family comes first, but he said don't go somewhere just because he's there."
Now that Diebler has become the first member of the 2007 class, Ohio State is hoping to land a couple of other in-state prospects. Solon's Dallas Lauderdale (6-9 PF/C) and Canton GlenOak's Kosta Koufos (7-0 WF/PF) are two other prospects Ohio State is hoping will join Diebler in what's expected to be a four-man class.
However, the Buckeyes have now turned their attention to Canton McKinley's Raymar Morgan, a 6-8 wing/ power forward, in hopes he will round out the 2006 class joining Greg Oden, Mike Conley, David Lighty and Daequan Cook in what should be one of the top classes in the country – if not the best.
Diebler is excited to be a Buckeye and concentrate on his senior season.
"It's a really big stage," Diebler told the Daily Chief Union. "I really like coach Matta and the coaching staff there. They've done a great job."
It appears that this decision is final, as the family doesn't want to change their minds again. So that means he will have to live with picking Ohio State even if he has any second thoughts.
"His mother and I appreciate the care and thought he put into what he's doing, and we're going to support whatever he decides," Jon's father and coach Keith Diebler told the Daily Chief Union. "But it's a decision he had to make. It couldn't be made by his coach, his dad, or his mother or brothers."
When Cook became the first commitment for Ohio State in the class of 2006 this past March, it started a string of commitments over the next several months. Ohio State is hoping Diebler's decision will do the same for Ohio State for 2007.
Diebler played for his father Keith at Upper Sandusky as a sophomore. They moved to Upper Sandusky after he spent his freshman season at Fostoria where he averaged 23.6 points a game for the Redmen.
Diebler becomes the second player from the Northern Ohio League to play join Ohio State in the last three years. Willard's Nick Dials played one season for the Buckeyes before transferring to Akron.
Stay tuned to Bucknuts.com for continuing coverage on the Diebler commitment,
as well as the latest news and notes for Ohio State basketball.
Author's Note: Thanks to Editor Aaron Korte and the Daily Chief Union for providing exclusive quotes from the Friday edition of the Diebler commitment.