Updated Mon, Jun 3, 2013 10:06 pm
Jim Christian landed his first recruit for the 2014 class Monday in 6-foot-9, 180-pound forward Tariq Owens. Owens verbally committed after visiting Ohio University Sunday, according to Evan Daniels of Scout.com.
Owens is a 3-star recruit out of St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, Md., he also plays for Baltimore’s Finest on the AAU circuit. He is ranked as the eighth best player in his state according to Future150.com. Owens was on an official visit to Ohio when he made his commitment.
Owens’ commitment comes as a bit of a surprise. He had recently narrowed his top four schools down to Temple, Georgetown, Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Commonwealth. Owens also had offers from Florida Gulf Coast, South Florida and Richmond amongst others.
Owens provides Ohio with a lengthy, athletic forward with plus-rebounding skills and is regarded as a steal for the ‘Cats. Boasting a nearly 7-foot wingspan he has shown impressive skills defensively as a shot-blocker and is known for playing above the rim. A center at the high school level, Owens projects to be a power forward in college. His offensive skills can use some polishing, but he possesses tremendous upside and excellent low-post moves.
Some experts regard Owens as a high-major recruit, evidenced by interest from schools such as Miami (Fla.) and Georgetown.
Owens’ commitment fits in line with the style of player around which Christian wants to build his program. Last season, Christian’s first recruiting class at Ohio featured four players 6-foot-5 or taller, including forwards Maurice Ndour and Antonio Campbell. Last season Christian went with a forward heavy lineup on the court and with the 2013 recruiting class and Owens’ early commitment appears to be focused on building a large athletic team that unlike the smaller schools of the Mid-American Conference.
Owens’ commitment is verbal, and therefore non-binding. He will not be able to make his commitment official until the early signing period, which runs from Nov. 13-20.