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Committing to Ohio State has rising Lakota East junior ‘floating on air’

Lakota East rising junior Joe Wilson IV gave a verbal commitment this week to continue his golf career at Ohio State University. CONTRIBUTED
Lakota East rising junior Joe Wilson IV gave a verbal commitment this week to continue his golf career at Ohio State University. CONTRIBUTED

Joe Wilson IV finished tied for fifth at state as a sophomore

Joe Wilson IV started the recruiting process in seventh grade, so when the rising Lakota East High School junior golfer committed to Ohio State University on Monday, he was “floating on air.”

“The last three or four years of my life were consumed by this process,” Wilson said. “It feels really good to get a school locked down.”

Wilson, who tied fifth at state and helped the Thunderhawks to a third-place team finish last season, has been a lifelong Buckeyes fan and couldn’t imagine a better opportunity to represent them on the golf course, while also earning an education at his dream school.

»RELATED: East baseball standout makes college decision

He recalls as a young boy wondering why his dad, Joe Wilson III, always screamed at the TV watching Ohio State football games and how he came to understand why as he grew older – often finding himself right there with his dad.

After informing Ohio State coach Jay Moseley he was committing, Wilson didn’t get much time to celebrate as he was out of town for a tournament. He and his family went to a nice steakhouse for dinner Tuesday, decked out in Ohio State gear.

“It was a great thing to work out the way it did, being an Ohio kid, an OSU fan and being given the opportunity to play at The Ohio State University, it’s amazing,” he said.

Wilson didn’t just choose the Buckeyes because of his fandom, though. Through the junior golf circuit, he’s gotten to know many of the other recruits who will be going into the program ahead of him and looks forward to being their teammates in the future.

The all-Greater Miami Conference first teamer spoke with some PGA Tour players who came out of Ohio State and saw the history of the program as a benefit for his career. He also is familiar with the course from his state tournament experience and camps he’s attended at OSU.

»RELATED: New turf fields unveiled at Lakota’s high schools

“I was looking forward to that environment and being friends with all of them was huge,” Wilson said. “Also paired with unbelievable coaching staff, coach (Jay) Mo and coach (Brad) Smith, it all spun into being a Buckeye and a chance to graduate from The Ohio State University is truly a dream.

“(The course) is a great place to practice and learn more about the game of golf. That was something that attracted me to be able to play on one of the premier facilities in the state.”

Wilson said coach Moseley called him on the first day he was allowed to contact recruits, June 15, and told him where he stood. He got about 35 calls that day and didn’t need long to make his decision. Around that time, Wilson and his family visited a day trip to see the campus while it was mainly empty because of COVID-19.

After going through the checklist in his head of what he was looking for, Wilson had his answer. He chose the Buckeyes over other Big Ten and SEC schools that were on his list.

»RELATED: West standout earns state player of year honor

Wilson expects it to feel a little different the next time he plays on the Scarlet and Gray courses at OSU. He hopes to be back for sure this fall with the Hawks, who won their sixth consecutive GMC title last year and earned a fourth straight trip to state.

East finished as runners up when Wilson was a freshman in 2018 and should be able to compete for another top 3 standing in 2020, assuming the season is played as expected.

“We have a great team, great players coming in with a great coaching staff and great support from the school and our athletic director,” Wilson said. “I’m hoping we have a season because I feel if we come together as a team we can really do some damage.”