Seeing Double: Northland stars Sullinger and Weatherspoon sign with OSU


Jared Sullinger and Northland High teammate James “JD” Weatherspoon sign with Ohio State. (Photo by Kurt Stubbs)

Jared Sullinger is a beast. James “JD” Weatherspoon is as athletic as they come. Wednesday the two Columbus Northland teammates put the final ink to what many believe to be the best recruiting class in the country. The recipient? Ohio State…

It was a great day for The Ohio State University and the throng of fans that showed up at Columbus Northland High School on Wednesday night.

Two of the Buckeyes’ prize recruits were front and center signing their letters of intent.

Jared Sullinger, who is arguably the best player in the country, was joined by his high school teammate James “JD” Weatherspoon in signing on the dotted line.

In front of what turned out to be a large gathering of family, friends, teammates, coaches, and media, Sullinger and Weatherspoon put the final ink to what many believe to be the best recruiting class in the country.

The two will be joined in Columbus next year by Cincinnati Princeton’s Jordan Sibert, Findlay Liberty-Benton’s Aaron Craft, Bishop Luers High School’s (IN) DeShaun Thomas and Zion-Benton High School’s Lenzelle Smith Jr.

This night, however, belonged to the Northland duo.

Sullinger dressed in his best Jim Tressel sweater vest with “Air Spoon” right by his side were both lighting the gym with their unforgettable smiles. The only thing that stopped the ear-to-ear smiles were moments of tears from joy and happiness.

The night started with several of Sullinger and Weatherspoon’s former and current coaches speaking about the two. Benji Burke, Quentin Rogers, Victor Dandridge and James “Satch” Sullinger all took turns at the podium talking about the duo.

Next, family members spoke including Sullinger’s brothers – former Ohio State Buckeye J.J. Sullinger and former Kent State Golden Flash Julian Sullinger – and Weatherspoon’s two little sisters and one younger brother (“Baby Spoon”).

The video portion of the evening was filled with highlights of the two along with photos and comments from current and former teachers along viewpoints from head football coach Kevin Tooson and assistant basketball coach Michael Clouse.

The two sets of parents each got a turn with the microphone, before Sullinger and Weatherspoon gave thanks.

Sullinger struggled for most of his speech and was caught up in the emotion of the event, but he thanked everybody from Ohio State to each person he ever passed in the Northland hallway. He took the time to thank every teammate at Northland individually and told everybody several times that he loved them. In true Sullinger fashion, he broke up his tears with a few jokes.

Weatherspoon was emotional as well, and made sure he thanked everyone significant in his life from Jerry Watson at All-Ohio to family and friends.

The night was capped off with the two signing their LOI to Ohio State. That was followed by both players signing multiple autographs, shaking many hands and posing for dozens of pictures.

Ohio State may be the destination, but at Northland there is still work to be done.

“I am so proud of these two young men not only as basketball players but as the individuals they have become,” said a proud Satch Sullinger. “They have meant so much to this school, but it did not completely start with these two. It started with Julian (Sullinger) and moved on to Devon Moore and now to Jared and JD. I am just glad it is not April because I know it would be all over, so right now I know there is still work to be done.”

We would be remiss to not mention the fine job athletic director Ramani Hunter did in putting on such an incredible event that honored not only two of the best basketball players in the nation, but two of the finest young men in the country.

Both carry a 3.0 GPA as mentioned by by Hunter.

As the night closed, Hunter read a text message that she received during the ceremony from former Northland and current James Madison star Devon Moore sharing a few kind words of encouragement to his former teammates. The former Viking will be in Columbus tomorrow night to face the nationally-ranked Buckeyes.

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