While Texas A&M is still in the process of completing a 2016 recruiting class that currently consists of point guard J.J. Caldwell and power forward Robert Williams, that isn’t the only class they’re working on. Saturday afternoon head coach Billy Kennedy landed his first verbal commitment in the Class of 2017, as 6-foot-10 center Mitchell Robinson made his pledge to the SEC program.
News of Robinson’s commitment was first reported by CBSSports.com.
Robinson attends Landry-Walker HS in Algiers, Louisiana just outside of New Orleans, and he’s ranked 18th in the Class of 2017 by Rivals.com. Robinson played for the Alabama Challenge grassroots program this summer, and his performance at the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam in July led to more attention on the recruiting trail from high-major programs.
Playing in the 16U division, Robinson averaged 12.2 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per contest during the event.
Texas A&M has enjoyed a good run on the recruiting trail in recent years, with their 2015 class filled with talented freshmen capable of having an impact for a team that has yet to reach the NCAA tournament under Kennedy. Add in their 2016 commits and now Robinson, and Kennedy and his staff are well on their way to getting the Aggies back to the point where they’re playing in the NCAA tournament on a consistent basis.
Auburn continues to build momentum on the recruiting trail as head coach Bruce Pearl and the Tigers secured a commitment from five-star Class of 2017 center Austin Wiley.
The 6-foot-10 Wiley made his announcement on Twitter and he’s regarded as the No. 20 overall prospect in the 2017 class.
Wiley represents the first commitment for Auburn in the Class of 2017 and he’s an important piece. It’s nice for the Tigers to keep a talented in-state prospect from Birmingham at home, but he’s also a center, which is a position that Auburn has yet to recruit among its four Class of 2016 commitments.
With Pearl landing five-star guard Mustapha Heron in 2016 and now five-star center Austin Wiley in 2017, it represents that he’s resonating with elite talent and getting them to buy into his vision for the future.
Auburn deserves a lot of credit for recruiting Wiley hard while he’s been hurt. The junior had two surgeries the last few months to clean up his left knee around the patellar tendon before fixing a partial tear of the patellar tendon in his right knee. Both of Wiley’s parents went to Auburn, however, and they were always considered one of the frontrunners.
While there’s still work to be done in the 2016 recruiting class, California landed its first commitment in the Class of 2017 Thursday afternoon.
6-foot-4 combo guard Alec Hickman verbally committed to Cuonzo Martin’s program, with the news being reported by ESPN.com. Hickman’s a talented guard who can play either on or off the basketball, and based upon California’s current perimeter rotation he’ll be an important addition when the 2017-18 season rolls around.
Experienced returnees Tyrone Wallace (senior), Jabari Bird, Stephen Domingo, Jordan Mathews and Sam Singer (all juniors) are all upperclassmen, with freshman Jaylen Brown being the lone underclassman. That means at least five of Cal’s current guards will definitely be gone by the time Hickman arrives in Berkeley, and Brown is projected to be a first round pick in next June’s NBA Draft.
Hickman, who attends JSerra Catholic in San Juan Capistrano, California, played for the Team Eleate grassroots program this summer.