Growing up as an Ohio State football fan, Devin Royal knew the Buckeyes very well.
He played the past three seasons on the Pickerington Central High School basketball team, helping lead the Tigers to a state championship in March. While chasing a championship, Royal also saw his recruiting ramp up, securing more than a dozen offers and narrowing his picks to Alabama, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Royal made a decision when recruiting him on August 3, verbally committing to the university just 30 minutes from his home.
“I think it will mean a lot just to leave a legacy behind as I go from high school to college and still be home,” Royal said. “I feel like it will mean a lot to everyone in the community.”
According RivalsRoyal ranks as a four-star small forward and the 87th player overall for the Class of 2023.
His engagement kicked off a turbulent week for the Ohio State men’s basketball team, which traveled to the Bahamas and scored two summer wins over the Egyptian and Puerto Rican national teams 72-68. Saturday and 75-68 Sundayrespectively.
The Buckeyes then got their fourth verbal commitment in the Class of 2023 when Scotty Middleton chose Ohio State over Kansas, Seton Hall, Texas A&M and UConn Sunday.
Both commitments show traction head coach Chris Holtmann and the Buckeyes coaching staff have taken to the recruiting trail. Royal said Ohio State assistant coach Jake Diebler recruited him the most, but he bonded with Holtmann for a time in his prep career.
“It’s a great relationship,” Royal said. “He’s been recruiting me for a while, supporting me, coming to my games, stuff like that, so it’s a great relationship with him.”
Pickerington Central is also familiar territory in the state of Ohio.
Royal joins Jae’Sean Tate, who also played for the Tigers, in the Buckeyes pick when the latter made his decision as part of the 2014 recruiting class.
Shannon Cornell, Royal’s mother, said it was ‘really, really huge’ that she trusted both the Ohio State program and her son to make the right choice in the process. recruitment campaign that she felt “really, really happy” after her Buckeyes nod. .
“I appreciated that he continued to work hard,” Cornell said. “That’s really what’s exciting because you’re trying to teach your kids how much hard work pays off, in the end, and I love it when they can actually see that.”
Daryl Royal said he saw Devin Royal wake up at 5:30 a.m. most days to attend practices and devote time to becoming a better basketball player. He said his son “knows the pressure of choosing his hometown program,” but the payoff is what feels best.
“I love him so I can see the rewards of the hard work he put in,” Daryl Royal said. “Often children work hard but don’t get the rewards. For him to be offered by Ohio State, then now, then another year playing there, I think is just a blessing and a beautiful thing.
Before Devin Royal became a Buckeye, he said he was focused on helping Pickerington Central defend their state championship and continuing to develop in his senior year.
“Just do what the coaches want me to do to win. I mean, I think we’re going back to back this year. I really believe that,” Devin Royal said. talent in our team, so I feel we will be good.”