Pughsley Commits to WCU

7 Sep
Elijah Pughsley

Elijah Pughsley

College coaches are back on the road this coming week, as schools from all across the region will be visiting Ohio high schools to watch some of their recruiting targets workout and go through open gym sessions. Heading into what surely will be a busy fall recruiting period, here are some of the latest headlines from the days leading up to the mayhem….

  • Carlton Bragg – ’15 Cleveland VASJ PF: The top-15 nationally ranked recruit, and top ranked senior in Ohio, Bragg announced his highly anticipated five finalists in his recruitment last week. Only Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA remain on the 6’9 forward’s list, as Bragg cut more than twenty schools off of his list. While the five who made the cut all seemed to make sense, fans of both Ohio State (the only in-state school with a legitimate chance at Bragg) and West Virginia (one of the first high-majors to get involved with his recruitment) will surely be disappointed not to be among the finalists. Bragg has said for several months that Kansas, Kentucky and Illinois are in good standing with him, and the power forward plans to take visits to all three campuses in the next couple of months. Arizona and UCLA are the latest to get involved with Bragg, after spending lots of time tracking him this July with Ohio Basketball Club. While Bragg’s recruitment is a little easier to decipher now that he is down to just five schools, don’t expect a decision soon, as Bragg’s advisor, Michael Graves, told TDP that the Cleveland senior will not make a decision until the spring.
  • Esa Ahmad – ’15 Cleveland Shaker Heights PF: After taking his first official visit to Maryland recently, Cleveland’s second most highly touted senior prospect took his second official visit of the fall this past weekend. Ahmad traveled with his family to Morgantown, WV to take in the campus of West Virginia University and meet with Mountaineers head coach Bob Huggins. While WVU was once considered the favorite for Ahmad, the Mountaineers are just one of Ahmad’s five finalists, joining Maryland, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Oregon. With West Virginia being one of the first to make a hard push at Ahmad, Coach Huggins and his staff have built a strong relationship that will give them a great chance of competing with the rest of the four finalists, most notably Ohio State and Maryland, to land the versatile forward. The in-state Ohio State Buckeyes will be next to make a strong push for Ahmad, as they’ll host the Cleveland senior this coming weekend for Ahmad’s next official visit, which will be his third of the five that the NCAA allows.
  • Elijah Pughsley – ’15 Lima Senior PG/SG: After a red hot shooting performance with the Queen City Prophets led to Pughsley being courted by several low and mid-major division one programs in the past month and a half, the senior guard from Lima became the latest Ohio prospect to come off the board this weekend. While on campus at Western Carolina for his first official visit, Pughsley went ahead and committed to the Catamounts. One of Ohio’s top shooters, scorers and competitors, Pughsley held offers from North Carolina Central, Maine and a couple of others, before deciding that Western Carolina was the place where he wanted to continue his career. Playing alongside one of Ohio’s top setup men in ’16 point guard Xavier Simpson, look for Pughsley to light up the scoreboard from three in his only season at Lima Senior, where he just transferred into from Cincinnati Hughes.
  • Nick Ward – ’16 Columbus Gahanna Lincoln C: Just days after making it onto the prestigious list of the top-150 juniors in the country by Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi, the 6’8 center from Columbus picked up another major Big Ten offer over the weekend. Ward’s latest offer comes from the Wisconsin Badgers and head coach Bo Ryan, one of college basketball’s most respected coaches and someone who is well known for trying to tap into the Buckeye state to snag top prospects. Ward also has offers from Michigan Sate, Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa State, Iowa, Xavier, Purdue and Miami (FL) after entering the April period of the AAU season with All-Ohio Red with no offers to his name. Perhaps the one 2016 prospect in Ohio’s loaded class who helped his stock more than anyone else in the AAU season, expect several high-majors to flock to Columbus this coming month to check out Ward at open gyms.
  • Seth Fuller – ’16 Dublin Coffman PG: After leading his Team Work 16u squad to a second consecutive strong summer, providing the interior passes to highly regarded posts Jon Teske (Medina) and Micah Potter (Mentor), Fuller earned his first college offer this past week. Stony Brook became the first to offer a scholarship to the Columbus area junior point guard, as Fuller will likely be highly recruited at the division one level by low majors, particularly high academic schools.
  • Prep Spotlight Showcase: The annual showcase hosted by Prep Spotlight’s John Stovall will be held at Garfield Heights HS on September 18th. The cost is only $30 and Stovall is expecting over thirty college coaches to attend. For more info, or to register, email Sonny Johnson at sonnyjohnson32@yahoo.com 
  • Tier1 Sports Fall League: Quincy Simpsons’ high school fall league will run from September 20th through October 25th in Lima, while Tier1 Sports will also host a middle school showcase on September 19th. Visit tier1sports.net for all the info.
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