Koufos is rated as the nation's No. 15 prospect overall in the 2007 class by ScoutHoops.com. He is also rated as the No. 3 prospect in Ohio in that class by Ohio High magazine, trailing only the North College Hill dynamic duo of O.J. Mayo and Bill Walker.
"It's a strong commitment from the simple fact that he is one of the best power forwards in the country," Telep said. "It just so happens that he lives within the state of Ohio."
Telep noted that the Koufos verbal helps Ohio State solidify its hold on the state of Ohio.
"In the past couple of years, Thad Matta has borrowed some of the best players from outside the state," Telep said. "But he is also making the statement that his own state is equally as important. They did that with Daequan Cook and David Lighty and now with Kosta Koufos as well."
Telep saw Koufos in action at the Nike Hoops Jamboree for underclassmen last June in St. Louis. He talked about how Koufos impressed scouts at that event.
"Over the last few years at the Nike Hoops Jamboree, some of the best players have been Greg Oden, Tyler Hansborough and Spencer Hawes," Telep said. "It's a place where the best come to play. Last year, Kosta Koufos was regarded as the top player there. That event has a tremendous track record of guys coming out of there being successful."
At 7-2 and 260 pounds, Telep sees Koufos as more than just a post-up player.
"If you watch Kosta Koufos, nine out of 10 people would come away impressed with the way he shoots the basketball for a big man," Telep said. "But he also plays with intensity and aggressiveness. He is capable, at 7-0, of being a legit perimeter player. He steps out and shoots the basketball well to three-point range.
"The comparison style-wise – not talent-wise – would be Dirk Nowitzski. He is a face-up four man.
"He's as close to he can be to being a European guy. He's an American with deep Greek roots. He has a little Euro to his game. The number one trait he brings is versatility. He has the ability to play facing the basket. Playing with his back to the basket is something he will work on. They will add some strength."
Koufos' junior season at GlenOak ended after 11 games due to a foot injury suffered in January. He returned to action on the AAU circuit in May and is still trying to round into form, Telep said.
"He's been very banged up," Telep said. "Through AAU ball, he's just been gutting out. It's been some rough sledding for him because he's not in the shape and the foot is not 100 percent back yet. But this is a guy who is a major league talent."
Koufos joins Upper Sandusky guard Jon Diebler in OSU's 2007 class. The Buckeyes can still take up to three more players in that class, although a total class size of four players would also make sense. A four-man class in 2007 would allow OSU to also take four players in 2008, when they already have commitments from guard Walter Offutt and center B.J. Mullens.
Telep sees Solon's Dallas Lauderdale, a 6-8 forward ranked 80th nationally in the 2007 class, as a distinct possibility for OSU.
"I think they will look to add some depth," Telep said. "They have the star power, now they can recruit for chemistry and depth. I think they kind of like the idea that Dallas Lauderdale could come in and help out at multiple positions. That would really bolster their frontcourt."
More On Koufos
As a junior, Koufos averaged 24.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 4.2 blocked shots per game. He tallied a season-high 34 points against Massillon Washington and had a 33-point, 19-rebound game against Austintown Fitch. His season ended after only 11 games, though, because of a broken foot.
He averaged 16.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as a sophomore at GlenOak.
Here are several more links on Koufos:
The ScoutHoops.com top 100 for 2007:
Kyle Lamb's story on Koufos' verbal with comments from Koufos:
A few snippets of video of Koufos and King James Shooting Stars teammate Delvon Roe, a junior-to-be from Lakewood St. Edward, from an AAU event in May:
A link to Koufos' bio page in the ScoutHoops.com database, which includes links to more video features: