The last time Ohio State received a verbal commitment - at least for the class of 2006, it was a double-whammy in late June when Mike Conley and Greg Oden gave their pledge to the Buckeyes. The wait for the next commitment is over now.
Sources have told Bucknuts.com that Othello Hunter, a 6-9 power forward from Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, committed to Ohio State upon returning home for a visit to UTEP this past weekend.
Hunter visited Ohio State officially the first weekend in September, and reportedly he enjoyed his visit so much that he was interested in giving a verbal commitment upon returning.
The week after returning, Matta reportedly met with Hunter and his parents in Winston-Salem, N.C. to talk more about Ohio State.
Hunter averaged 8.8 points and 5.8 rebounds a game this past season as a freshman at Hillsborough, and has been receiving many more scholarship offers and attention from several high-major programs, including Oklahoma. Hunter had visited Ohio State, Colorado and UTEP.
However, Ohio State has been trying to lure Canton McKinley's Raymar Morgan, and although sources tell Bucknuts that they would accept as many as six guys in the 2006 class, they still wanted to first put their eggs in Morgan's basket.
Morgan visited Ohio State on September 15 to 17 and had visited Michigan the week prior to that. He was scheduled to visit Connecticut this weekend, but canceled the visit fueling speculation he was ready to make his choice or he just didn't feel comfortable with Connecticut.
He is set to visit Michigan State this upcoming weekend, September 30 to October 2, and will probably make a public decision soon thereafter. It's believed Ohio State is still after Morgan and would take six players.
As for Hunter, he becomes Matta's tenth verbal commitment in a little over a year, spanning four different recruiting classes.
Stay tuned to Bucknuts.com for updates on Hunter's commitment.