Former Tennessee Basketball Target De-Commits From Ohio State

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    Photo via Zags Blog

    Four-star shooting guard George Washington III de-committed from Ohio State Monday morning after spending 10 months as a Buckeye commit.

    “At this time, after much thought, prayer and deep discussion with my family, I would like to announce that I’ll be de-committing from The Ohio State University and reopening my recruitment,” Washington wrote in a Tweet. “Thank you OSU for the opportunity and understanding – I will always love Buckeye Nation. I am excited to see what the future holds!”

    Tennessee targeted the class of 2023 guard last fall, hosting Washington on a visit the same weekend of the Tennessee-Pitt football game.

    The Vols offered Washington during his visit and remained a factor in his recruitment until he committed to Ohio State.

    “I love the coaching staff there,” Washington told RTI following his visit to Tennessee. “They all know what they’re doing. They’re really experienced guys. They have a lot of special coaches that know what they’re doing and know the game. I love what coach Barnes is able and has been able to do with point guards. I think that’s something really special.”

    Washington’s dropped in the rankings since last fall but is still a blue-chip recruit. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound shooting guard ranks as the No. 76 player and No. 9 shooting guard in the country according to the 247sports composite rankings.

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    On top of visiting Tennessee last fall, Washington has an interesting connection to the Volunteer basketball program. Washington’s father — George Washington Jr. — was an assistant woman’s basketball coach at Texas for eight years, overlapping three years with Rick Barnes’ time at Texas.

    While his dad coached at Texas, Washington worked out with former Longhorns’ point guard T.J. Ford. Ford and Barnes led the Longhorns to the 2003 Final Four before the point guard played eight seasons in the NBA.

    The elder Washington is now an assistant for Dayton’ women’s basketball program after spending last year at Louisville. The younger Washington played his junior high school season at Christian Academy of Louisville before transferring to Dayton’s Chaminade Julienne.

    The Vols weren’t the only contender Washington spurned to commit to Ohio State. The four-star shooting guard also visited Cincinnati, Louisville, Liberty and Memphis last fall.

    Washington told RTI Monday that Tennessee reached out to him following his de-commitment.

    Time will tell whether Washington’s de-commitment from Ohio State will have major repercussions on Tennessee’s 2023 recruiting class. However, Washington’s de-commitment from the Buckeyes allowed Tennessee’s recruiting class to jump a spot to No. 7 nationally.

    The Vols’ three-commit recruiting class includes four-star combo guard Freddie Dilione, four-star center JP Estrella and three-star power forward Cade Phillips.

    Ryan Schumpert is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. Ryan spent three years with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program before joining RTI. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.