Texas Longhorns head coach Shaka Smart has a second pledge in the 2017 recruiting class and another athletic forward in Minneapolis (Minn.) Cristo Rey Jesuit product Jericho Sims, who took an official visit to Austin over the weekend:
The 6’8, 190-pounder was originally thought to be high on the hometown Minnesota Golden Gophers, but the persistent pursuit of Smart and his assistant helped the ‘Horns land the top player in Minnesota.
Given the fact that Sims is a Golden Gophers legacy and has a brother who played for MInnesota, that was no small feat for the Longhorns.
“I thought it was really good, good time in Austin,” Sims told Orangebloods.com after his visit. “The coaches were basically with me a lot of the time, they cared me about me coming down there and wanted me to come down. They really like me as a person. I’m their main guy. Just had a good time with coach (Shaka) Smart, coach (Darrin) Horn, met the whole staff. They want me down there.”
Sims also appreciated Smart’s “realness” and built a relationship with the current players while he was in Central Texas — as with the football program under head coach Charlie Strong, the players as often as effective or more effective than the coaches in recruiting.
A consensus four-star prospect, Sims is the No. 73 player overall and the No. 15 power forward nationally, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He also held nearly 20 offers, including invitations to play at UConn, Florida, Iowa State, Kansas, Memphis, and Ohio State.
The recruitment of Minnesota’s top player took off in July on the adidas circuit as part of a talented D1 Minnesota squad.
An athletic prospect who has the quickness of a guard, Sims has the length and overall athleticism that Smart desires in his frontcourt players — he’s a guy who projects favorably as someone who can excel in the open court, whether he’s getting out in transition to finish with resounding dunks or disrupting opponents in the full-court press.
Since Sims is a late riser who is used to playing with talented teammates, he also possesses a considerable amount of upside and has experience doing the little things to help his team win.
Sims joins Houston Aldine forward Royce Hamm in the 2017 Texas recruiting class.