With 11:34 left in the first half between Ohio State and Rutgers, freshman guard Meechie Johnson checked into a college game for the very first time.
Johnson early-enrolled at Ohio State and should be a senior in high school right now, but unique circumstances have given Johnson an opportunity to make an impact for the Buckeyes earlier than he probably could've ever dreamed just a year ago.
First of all, Ohio State expected that transfer-guard Abel Porter was going to be able to play this year. But an undisclosed medical condition ended those hopes before the season even began.
Porter's sudden absence, combined with the NCAA's decision to not count this year toward any athlete's eligibility because of the pandemic, opened a chance for Johnson to early-enroll. After initially telling Coach Holtmann no (he had just transferred back to Garfield Heights High School and wanted to play his senior season for his Uncle Sonny, who is their head coach), Johnson's family talked him into heading to Columbus earlier than he planned. So Johnson joined the Buckeyes in mid-December and was worked into things slowly.
Then C.J. Walker's hand injury got to the point where he couldn't play through the pain effectively anymore. Suddenly, with only two healthy primary guards on the roster (Duane Washington Jr. and Jimmy Sotos), Meechie Johnson found himself in a position to contribute.
The 4-star prospect from Northeast Ohio has been committed to the Buckeyes for quite awhile and Buckeye fans have been looking forward to his debut for a couple years.
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