COLUMBUS, Ohio – The National Letter of Intent signing period was a huge success for Ohio State and Director of Tennis Ty Tucker as he signed three blue chip recruits in Cannon Kingsley, JJ Mercer and Robert Cash.
“We are so excited to announce the signings of these three student athletes,” said Tucker. “They are obviously world class student athletes from tremendous families. This is the first class that we have signed in my time that bring singles and doubles National Champions in the same class. These three guys have played in the last weekend of numerous national events. It is great to play in national events but to be able to play on the final weekend means you are in the top eight of the entire event. We look forward to all three of these guys becoming All Big Ten performers as well as Academic All-Big Ten.”
“They have been coached by some great instructors and we will help them realize their tennis and academic goals,” Tucker continued. “I couldn’t be more excited about Kingsley, Cash, and Mercer joining the Buckeyes and I have had a great time recruiting these families to Ohio State.”
Kingsley is a native of Northport, New York. He was the No. 1 player in the USTA Junior rankings and is currently ranked 1,119 in the ATP World Rankings. The No. 3 recruit in the class of 2019 was ranked as high as No. 32 in the world junior rankings and is the top player in the state of New York.
Kingsley, coached by Christian De Los Rios, Anthony Morais and his father Harry, won the 2017 USTA Boys’ 18s National Indoor Championship and the ITF G1 event in Italy. He competed in three of four ITF Grand Slams and reached the quarterfinals of the US Open juniors, the round of 16 at the Wimbledon juniors and also participated in the French juniors.
“Cannon is a tremendous competitor and has been a top three American junior for the last year,” said Tucker. “He has excelled on the big stage in the Grand Slam junior events and we look for an immediate impact on the singles court. He has a strong work ethic and wants to play tennis for the next 15 years.”
Mercer, a native of Huntington, W.Va., is the No. 24 recruit in the class of 2019 and the No. 1 recruit coming out of West Virginia where he is a three-time state champion.
In addition to three state titles, Mercer won two doubles national championships with fellow signee Robert Cash including the ITF Grade 4 Doubles title in Atlanta. Mercer is also No. 2 in the USTA rankings for U18 Doubles. He is coached by his parents, John and Laurie along with Jason Winegar and TJ Cisco. His father John has been coaching collegiate tennis for 32 seasons at the DI level including the last 17 as the head coach for the women’s tennis at Marshall University.
“JJ comes from a tennis playing family. I mean they all play and it is their business,” Tucker said. “We love student athletes that have tennis in their bones and JJ Mercer brings that to the table. We look forward to big things on the court from JJ Mercer.”
The aforementioned Cash is a native of New Albany, Ohio. He is the No. 21 ranked recruit in the class of 2019 and the No. 1 prospect in Ohio where he is the current state singles champion. Last year, he ascended to No. 1 in the country in the junior doubles rankings.
Cash is a six-time Midwest Closed Champions in singles and doubles, a two-time 16s National Doubles Champion and a 18s National Clay Court Champion. He was also a doubles champion at the ITF Grade 4 in Atlanta as well as a doubles champion at the 16s National Indoor Championships. He has a total of five gold balls and has finished in the top-3 nine times at national events. Cash has been coached in large part by Bryan Nibert but has also worked with Gabe Higgs, Kevin Metka and David Kass.
“Robert has been on our radar for years because he is a local guy,” Tucker said. “Robert has the size and game that will translate to college tennis sooner rather than later. We have been watching Robert for years and look forward to him continuing the success of local players on the Buckeye team.”