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September 22, 2008The initial recruiting class for new Ohio University coach John Groce is off to a flying start. After landing a commitment from three star small forward Marquis Horne, the Bobcats followed that up with a pair of talented pledges on Monday afternoon.
After securing a swing man earlier in the month, Ohio University knew that landing a big man and a floor general would be key. The staff turned their focus to D.J. Cooper out of the Chicago area and Reggie Keely from suburban Cleveland, and now both are locked up as commitments.
For Cooper, who also had interest from Kent State and Baylor, picking Ohio University came down to how he felt about the program as a whole. "When I visited I felt real comfortable with the school and the staff. Coach Groce did a great job of showing me how I would fit in.
Groce did that by showing Cooper tape of how his former school, Ohio State, played, "He just showed mainly showed me how when he was at Ohio State videos of Mike Conley and how the offense was being run, and how I can make a major impact."
Keely for his part is a bruiser down low. At 6-foot-6 and around 230 pounds, Keely is surprisingly explosive for his build, and knows how to score.
According to his father, Reggie Keely Sr., his son felt loyalty to Groce for showing him interest since he was a freshman. "Reggie felt like Coach Groce had a lot of experience. He has been following Reggie since he was in the ninth grade, and felt he was the best option for Reggie to grow as a player along as well as a young. Reggie decided he had a good feel and a good sense for a commitment with Coach Groce since he was at Solon."
Another major factor for Keely was being able to come in on the ground floor in Groce's first recruiting class. ", Reggie wanted to be in on the ground level of the program coming full circle to the winning tradition and development of the OU program."
According to Cooper, he is excited about the group Ohio has brought in, and spoke with one of the other commitments this morning. "I talked to Marquis earlier today we are both excited for this upcoming today, especially now that we landed a big man."