Coach Heath and the USF basketball team has picked up their 3rd commitment of the early recruiting period with the verbal pledge of Huntington Prep SG JaVontae Hawkins. Hawkins stopped by USF on an official visit this weekend for the Cincinnati game and was impressed with Coach Heath and the new facilities that he ended his recruitment this weekend. Hawkins chose USF over offers from Arizona State, Cincinnati, and Iowa among others.
The 6'5" native of Flint, MI spoke with Jeff Borzello at CBSSports.com, and said the relationship that he and Coach Heath have was a big reason why he chose to come to USF.
Coach Heath is a Michigan guy and me and him have a great relationship with each other, and the coaching staff is the type of staff that will help you get to the next level and succeed at the next level.
When Hawkins signs with USF in November, he will be one of the highest rated high schoolrecruits to ever sign with the Bulls. JaVontae is rated as a 4-Star prospect by both ESPN (16th SG, 89th overall) and MaxPreps (94th overall), while Rivals (23rd SG, 116th overall) and Scout (30th SG) each have Hawkins as a 3-Star recruit. Going through the rankings over the years, only B.B. Waldon (35th overall recruit in 1998) was rated higher than Hawkins.
Quick note that I thought was interesting is from Greg Auman, who tweeted that Andy Hipsher was the main recruiter for Hawkins. You guys might recall that Hipsher and Reggie Hanson switched jobs over the offseason, and it looks like the move is already paying off. For his first year out on the recruiting trail, he has done a tremendous job.
Hawkins is extremely long and can jump out of the building, and can shoot the ball from range as well. It would be nice for him to put on some muscle, but I'm sure that will happen once we get on campus. Didn't see much video of him on defense, but between the Borzello interview and Greg Auman's interview of Hawkins' coach at Huntington Prep, it looks like he gets at it at both ends of the court.
With JaVontae's verbal, Coach Heath is down to only 1 scholarship in the Class of 2012 after JUCOs Musa Abdul-Aleem and Waverly Austin committed last month. I would be surprised if Heath goes after anyone other than a post for the last scholarship.
We have a couple of highlight reels from Hawkins after the jump. Welcome to USF JaVontae!