Jackson product receives his release from Butler and announces he will follow head coach Chris Holtmann to Ohio State

JACKSON TWP. Kyle Young is going to be a Buckeye after all.

The 6-foot-7 basketball star and recent Jackson High School graduate announced on Twitter Monday that he is heading to Ohio State after originally signing with Butler University in November.

Young asked for and received his release from Butler after Bulldogs head coach Chris Holtmann left the school less than two weeks ago to replace Thad Matta as the Buckeyes head coach.

“Leading up to this point, I’ve been all about Butler. I was all in,” Young told The Canton Repository Monday evening. “Then all of a sudden, stuff started happening quickly with Coach Holtmann leaving, and then the whole staff leaving. It kind of threw me into a twist and I had a decision to make.

“I’m super excited to be going to Ohio State.”

Young originally committed to Butler in August over other finalists Ohio State, Clemson, Purdue and Michigan.

When news broke of Holtmann’s departure, Young wondered if he should join him in Columbus. The fact that Holtmann’s top three assistants — Ryan Pedon, Terry Johnson and Mike Schrage — soon followed Holtmann to Ohio State made Young’s decision easier.

Young had grown close to Holtmann and his staff — the Ohio native Pedon in particular. He felt they were loyal. They were also there for him in a time of great personal tragedy.

Shortly before Young’s junior season at Jackson, his father, Mark Young Sr., committed suicide after a long battle with multiple sclerosis.

Young indicates the recruiting calls, which often didn’t have much to do with basketball, meant everything.

“They’ve been with me through this whole process,” Young said. “They stayed really close to me and were there for me. It’s about more than just basketball.”

Young thanked Butler in his Tweet Monday and highlighted the school’s “understanding of my circumstances.” About Holtmann, Young went on to say in the Tweet, “His vision for Ohio State Basketball is exciting, and I want to be a part of building something special in my home state.”

Young joins 6-0 guard Braxton Beverly and 6-9 forward Kaleb Wesson (whom Young finished second to in voting for Ohio’s Associated Press Mr. Basketball this season) as a member of Ohio State’s 2017-18 recruiting class. The multi-skilled Young would seem to be line for a big role right away on the new-look Buckeyes, who lost much of their roster after a disappointing 2016-17 season ended at 17-15. Ohio State had only nine scholarship players before Young’s addition.

“We are very excited to add Kyle to the 2017 class,” Holtmann said in a statement. “His versatility, motor and work ethic make him a great addition to our program. We really look forward to getting him to campus to join his teammates.”

Less than three months ago, Young led Jackson to a Division I state championship on the very Value City Arena floor he will call his home court in college.

Young averaged 17.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in leading the Polar Bears to a 28-2 record and their second state title in program history. He shot 57.9 percent from the floor and 34.9 percent from the 3-point line.

Combining tremendous skill and leaping ability with range beyond the 3-point line, Young was a two-time Stark County Player of the Year, two-time First Team All-Ohioan and three-time Federal League Player of the Year. He is the county’s sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,582 career points.

A Top 100 recruit nationally, Young received 23 Division I offers. Butler and new head coach LaVall Jordan retained the other four members of the Bulldogs’ 2017-18 recruiting class, but Young was the top recruit of the group.

Young plans to head to Columbus later this week and join the Buckeyes’ summer program as soon as possible.

He wants to get to work on restoring the luster to Buckeyes’ hoops.

“I don’t like when people talk bad about Ohio State basketball and say how they’ve struggled,” Young said. “I think we can get this thing turned around. We have the right people to do so. We just have to work hard and do the right things.”

 

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