COLUMBUS, Ohio — The first domino has fallen in the wake of Thad Matta’s departure from Ohio State.
Justin Ahrens, a 3-star forward from Versailles, Ohio, announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he has de-committed from Ohio State. According to the 247Sports composite rankings, Ahrens is the No. 37 small forward and No. 160 overall prospect in the Class of 2018.
— Justin Ahrens•• (@ahrensjustin12) June 6, 2017
Ahrens said in the note posted to Twitter that he’s decided to revisit his recruitment with Matta no longer the head coach at Ohio State, but that he’s still considering the Buckeyes. He committed to Ohio State on Aug. 27, 2016, four days after the Buckeyes offered him a scholarship.
According to his 247Sports profile, Ahrens also holds a scholarship offer from Stony Brook. The Sea Wolves are led by former Ohio State assistant Jeff Boals, who coached under Matta as recently as the 2015-16 season.
His brother, Kyle Ahrens, recently completed his sophomore season at Michigan State.
In Monday’s press conference, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith cited recruiting woes as a factor in Matta’s dismissal.
“Recruiting was a major part of that plan,” Smith said in reference to a meeting he had with Matta at the close of last season. “We weren’t winning the battles in recruiting that I thought we had a chance to win.”
Ohio State will likely take a hit in recruiting in the immediate future due to the uncertainty surrounding the program. Commitments won’t know where they stand until a replacement is named, which could be weeks from now. However, the Buckeyes are betting that the man who replaces Matta will eventually be able to make up for any short-term losses.