A native of Columbus, Jared Sullinger saw no reason to hold off on making a commitment when he offered up an early pledge to Thad Matta's Buckeyes almost two years ago. Now a junior, the 6-foot-8 Northland product is among the top 10 players in the class of 2010.
According to Sullinger, it's been nice focusing on getting ready for college instead of worrying about his recruitment.
"It's really simple it takes the monkey off your back because you don't have to perform for coaches anymore," said Sullinger. "You just keep playing and playing and playing no matter what, who or where somebody is watching because you know what college you are going to."
While college coaches aren't messing with him, it doesn't mean there aren't folks gunning for him. Given his lofty rankings, Sullinger knows that he can expect a fight from each and every player he lines up against.
"It feels like there's a mark on my chest sometimes," said Sullinger. "With a ranking like mine, you know that everybody is going to want to come out and get you. They want to be able to say that they are the guy who took you down or gave you 25 or whatever. So you always have to play your best."
Playing for mighty All-Ohio, Sullinger also finds himself in a position to act as recruiter. One of his teammates is Buckeye target Adreian Payne (who will be featured tomorrow), but Sullinger says that he prefers to stay back and not put any pressure on his good friend.
"I let him do his own thing," Sulliniger told Bucknuts.com. "I'm not the type to pressure you to come to a school when you don't know what you want to do. Once he narrows it down and Ohio State is one of his choices and he's ready to start talking about it, then I'll make my move."
Surprisingly nimble given his massive frame, Sullinger has made a name for himself because of his low post strength. He can score at the rim or facing to about 15 feet, but he knows his biggest strength and what he needs to improve.
"Rebounding is my strength. I always try to rebound," said Sullinger. "I've got to get in better shape. I need to tone up my body, get better conditioning and pick up my speed."
Looking ahead to his time at Ohio State, Sullinger is looking forward to playing in the Big 10. In the meantime, he's doing everything he can to prepare himself.
"I've been putting in a lot of hard work," said Sullinger. "I've been killing myself at times trying to get ready for Ohio State."