Pick Central’s Tate on OSU: “I just didn’t want it to slip away from me.”


Jae’Sean Tate (6’5/WF) of Pickerington Central High School

Ohio State recorded one of its best recruiting weeks in recent history
by accepting verbal commits from Keita Bates-Diop (6’7/PF) of University
High School in Bloomington, Illinois and most recently Jae’Sean Tate
(6’5/WF) of Pickerington Central High School. Both are juniors…

Ohio State recorded one of its best recruiting weeks in recent history by accepting verbal commits from Keita Bates-Diop (6’7/PF) of University High School in Bloomington, Illinois and most recently Jae’Sean Tate (6’5/WF) of Pickerington Central High School, which is just 10 miles outside of downtown Columbus.

Both commits out of the Class of 2014 are a breath of fresh air for Buckeye’ fans as OSU has struggled to land some of its main targets over the past two years. Matta and his staff came up clutch landing Bates-Diop (No. 27 ESPN) and Tate (No. 43 ESPN).

Tate is a familiar name around the Ohio State basketball program as his father, Jermaine Tate, a 1995 graduate of Toledo Central Catholic, played for the Buckeyes during the 1995-1996 and 1996-1997 seasons before transferring to the University of Cincinnati to close out his college career.

The younger Tate is making a name for himself and on Monday he pulled the trigger on his Ohio State offer. The decision was something Tate felt good about and knew for quite awhile.

“When it came to committing they only had one more scholarship left at the wing position,” Tate noted. “I knew where I wanted to go, so I just didn’t want it to slip away from me. I felt good about the decision.”

Tate mentioned he had been to Ohio State seven or eight times including a couple open gyms along with a couple football and basketball games already this season.

Furthermore, Tate and his Pickerington Central teammates were crowned Division I state champions last March inside Value City Arena on the campus of The Ohio State University.  Tate was a key cog for the Tigers’ 45-40 triumph of a Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin) led Toledo Whitmer squad in the finals scoring 10 points and grabbing four rebounds.

Since the state tournament, Tate’s game has gone to another level. He is slowly transitioning to the wing despite being able to dominate a high school or AAU game from wherever necessary. The lefty, who is arguably the top 2014 prospect in Ohio, has a motor matched by very few.  He is long, athletic, can make shots, and plays with a purpose and passion. Tate plays with the mentality that every loose ball, every rebound, and every inside bucket is his. At 6-foot-5, he still may grow some as his father stands 6-foot-9.

Tate believes Ohio State will expect him to do what he does best.

“They want me to be like a two or three type, kind of like Dave Lighty was,” Tate revealed. They want me to just bring energy to the team.”

Before Tate enrolls at Ohio State, he still has two seasons left at Pickerington Central, which is bad news for the rest of the state. He has lofty goals, and Tate is noticing similarities to his freshman year.

“You know we lost a lot from last year,” Tate explained. This year we are going to focus on getting that team chemistry like we did my freshman year and then maybe make a big run my senior year.”

Tate knows his roll is going to increase tenfold this season with the graduation of Caris Levert (Michigan) along with Chad Nelson (Ohio Dominican) and the transfer of Javon Bess (Gahanna Lincoln).

“I’m just going to try to be a playmaker,” stated the All-Ohio Red standout. “I’m going to try and hit guys, make it easy on them, and win games.”

Tate knows despite his incredible talents, there is still plenty of refining to do in terms of his overall game.

“I’m definitely working on off the dribble shooting and ball handling,” Tate mentioned.

There is another piece to the equation for Tate, and that being football. He played his freshman and sophomore campaigns, but decided to sit out this year before having a change heart following a week 6 loss to rival Pickerington North. Tate joined the team for the last four regular season games of the year helping the Tigers enter the postseason yet again. He was a force from his defensive spot with one of the same attributes that makes him a menace on the basketball court, which is his motor. He showed the ability to dominate on defense opposite Michigan football signee Taco Charlton.

Tate has drawn interest from Illinois and Michigan State for football, and recently Ohio State stopped in to discuss the same. Playing both is something he definitely hasn’t ruled out.

“If Ohio State wanted me to play football as well, that is definitely something I would consider at least for a couple years,” Tate said.

There is no question Tate’s passion lies with basketball, but he has the ability to impact either sport at a high level. His upside for football may be even greater.

Tate, who averaged 12 points per game as a sophomore, picked Ohio State after considering offers from Michigan, Iowa, and West Virginia.

He will wear No. 5 this year, which is the number his father wore at Cincinnati.  However, Tate mentioned another, more interesting reason for switching jersey numbers.

“It fit a little tighter,” Tate joked. “I like my jersey to fit like this.”

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