Buckeyes pick up verbal commitment from Ohio’s No. 2 prep hoops prospect

Centerville High School junior Gabe Cupps drives past Pickerington Central junior Devin Royal during the Division I state championship game on Sunday night at UD Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

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Centerville High School junior Gabe Cupps drives past Pickerington Central junior Devin Royal during the Division I state championship game on Sunday night at UD Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Ohio State basketball picked up another big in-state prospect Wednesday.

Devin Royal, a 6-7 forward from Pickerington Central, verbally committed to head coach Chris Holtmann and the Buckeyes during a press conference at his school.

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Royal is the third player to commit to Ohio State for the class of 2023, joining Chaminade Julienne guard George Washington III and St. Mary’s Memorial center Austin Parks.

Washington, who played in Kentucky the last three seasons but moved with his family to Dayton after his father (George Washington II) joined the University of Dayton women’s basketball coaching staff, is the top-rated player in the state while Royal is No. 2 and Parks is No. 5 in 247Sports Composite rankings.

Dailyn Swain of Columbus Africentric, another Ohio State target, is the No. 3 prospect in the state while Centerville point guard Gabe Cupps is No. 4 and Wayne point guard Lawrent Rice is No. 6.

Cupps has committed to Indiana while Rice has scholarship offers from Ohio State, Rutgers, Louisville and West Virginia, among others.

Royal scored a game-high 20 points as Pickerington Central upset Centerville in the Division I state championship game in March at UD Arena.

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He was a first-team All-Ohio choice and averaged 19.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season.

Royal’s other finalists were Alabama and Michigan State.

Holtmann is working on a second straight top 10 recruiting class. His 2022 group ranked No. 8 nationally.

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