Buckeyes sign three prep stars

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 13, 2003

COLUMBUS - Two Ohio high school stars and a prep school player from Milwaukee signed letters of intent Wednesday to play basketball at Ohio State.

Jamar Butler, a 6-foot-2 guard from Lima Shawnee and Matt Terwilliger, a 6-9 forward from Troy, committed to the Buckeyes along with 6-7 Jermyl Jackson-Wilson, now playing at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy.

All three will be freshmen at Ohio State in 2004-2005.

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Butler averaged 30 points and eight assists a game as a junior at Shawnee. Terwilliger, who played alongside Butler on a Cleveland AAU team, averaged 17 points and nine rebounds as a junior.

Jackson-Wilson graduated from Milwaukee's Rufus King High School spring 2003. He averaged 10 points and 12 rebounds a game as a senior. His high school team won the Wisconsin state title with a 26-0 record.

''Jamar is a terrific point guard who can score. Matt has a versatile game as he can play both close and away from the basket, and Jermyl is an exceptional athlete who can guard every position,'' Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien said. ''All three are good players and great kids who will fit in with us very nicely.''

O'Brien is having trouble talking following surgery that damaged a vocal cord. He said the recruits called after hearing over the weekend that the ailment could affect O'Brien's coaching future.

''People think I'm not going to be coaching here, and I never said that,'' O'Brien said.

One of O'Brien's two vocal cords was damaged when he had surgery Oct. 1 to correct chronic neck pain that had spread to his right arm.

He said doctors advised him that the procedure, done through the front of the neck, could hurt his ability to speak.

O'Brien said Wednesday that he believed his voice would recover.

''I need to do some things (medically) that I think are going to help me. I have every intention of coaching,'' he said.