No. 44 recruit E.J. Liddell chooses Ohio State over Missouri, Illinois

ESPN 100 forward E.J. Liddell announced his commitment to Ohio State on Monday.

Liddell chose the Buckeyes over Missouri and Illinois.

The 6-foot-7 Belleville West (Illinois) product was considered to be leaning toward Ohio State coming out of the summer but took official visits to all three of his finalists.

At times over the past month, both Illinois and Missouri seemed to have an edge for Liddell's commitment. But coach Chris Holtmann and the Buckeyes won him over with their consistent and lengthy pursuit.

Ranked No. 44 in the ESPN 100, Liddell is a productive and physical power forward who prefers to do most of his work around the basket. He averaged 14.0 points and 6.7 rebounds for Brad Beal Elite on the Nike EYBL circuit last spring and summer, while also blocking nearly 2 shots per game.

Liddell is the third ESPN 100 commitment for Ohio State in the 2019 class. He joins five-star point guard D.J. Carton (No. 24) and four-star wing Alonzo Gaffney (No. 29), making the Buckeyes the lone program in the country with three top-50 prospects already in the fold.