Stay at home: The best players to stay in-state in the South's 2021 recruiting classes
There is something to be said about keeping the best talent at home. Our staff takes a look at most important in-state signings in the South for the class of 2021.
JD Davison is one of the best players to come out of the state of Alabama over the last two decades and Alabama was sure as heck not gonna let him leave the state. Conference foes Auburn and LSU were in it to win it, too.
But ultimately, the small town star decided to roll with the Tide. He’s the crown jewel of the Alabama recruiting class and the top recruit landed by Nate Oats and staff since taking over in Tuscaloosa. Alabama has recruited nationally and aimed high for prospects around the country but landing the local star is a coup. That goes without saying.
When Alabama has national recruits, they’ve done pretty well at keeping those guys home. Kira Lewis, a projected NBA Draft pick this month, did. So did John Petty. Colby Jones and Trenton Watford, both Mountain Brook grads, were the last two No. 1 players in the state. Jones is at Xavier and Langford is at LSU.
Florida is always an interesting state to navigate. Because a good number of players playing in the state aren’t from the state. They come to town to play at the powerful prep schools. Make no mistake about it, though, the state is one of the premier places in the nation for high-level basketball prospects.
Tre Carroll is one of those guys. He’s been on our radar for quite some time. We’ve seen him thrive on the scholastic scene, first getting a good glimpse of him at the City of Palms tournament. Then he shined on our HoopSeen stage at numerous stops.
Carroll is a skilled forward who can shoot and be a difference maker on the offensive end of the floor. Florida Atlantic held off a good number of in-state programs like Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson. He’s one of those players that you wonder if the pandemic impacted his recruitment.
There was a point where a swath of high-major schools were looking closely at him. Florida Atlantic was in the mix from the start. That loyalty from the outset gives the Owls a player who could play big minutes and a big role during his college career.
As soon as Rob Lanier and staff took over the Conference USA program in downtown Atlanta, they looked long and hard at the local talent and went to work. Clyce was a major target right off the bat.
They pursued the Pebblebrook forward from the start and landed the midrange assassin before any other program could really get into the mix. Clyce is the perfect type of player for CONF USA play. He’s tough, coachable, and self-aware. The Panthers have thrived with players like Clyce in conference play. That’s why him staying home should prove to be clutch for GSU.
If Rick Stansbury is coaching your team, you know your roster is going to have a star player on it. That’s always the case. So when a player comes up two hours away from campus, you better believe the Hilltoppers are going to be in the mix.
Zion Harmon had WKU on his list from day one and the Marshall County legend never deviated from having them in the mix. A host of high-major schools were in the mix with Harmon. He visited Seton Hall, Louisville and Maryland.
But ultimately, it was the home state school that landed the charismatic point guard. He should play right away and be one of the best players in Conference USA.
In football recruiting, flipping a prospect from one school to another happens on the regular. It’s part of the drama of it all. In hoops, it’s a rare thing. With Ruffin, he’s one of the most important flips in the class of 2021.
Originally part of the Auburn recruiting class, Ruffin seemed like a great fit. The Tigers have thrived with smaller, scoring -centric guards during the Bruce Pearl era. But less than a month later, Ruffin decided he wasn’t headed to Auburn. His recruitment was back open.
Ole Miss jumped in and was able to flip him back to the home state. The Rebels keep one of the best scorers the state has seen in quite some time. Ruffin could have a similar impact that Tweety Carter had at Baylor back in the day. Ole Miss wanted to have a point-producer and was able to land such a guy from it’s home state.
We saw Berry on our HoopSeen platform on several occasions last year. He was a standout for his Garner Road 16U team followed by a strong performance at our HoopSeenNC Preview Camp where he was named a top overall performer. Berry has the size at the guard spot to score from all spots on the floor and is as solid on the defensive side.
This is a great in-state pick up for Coach Ron Sanchez and the 49ers, keeping a local kid at home even with some “higher” offers. Charlotte is trying to get back to the prominence that was accustomed in the Queen City nearly 15 years ago and by keeping the homegrown talent in the state, the 49ers are on their way. - Justin Byerly
I like point guards with size. Beadle stands 6-foot-5 and is a true floor general. He can run the offense and is one of the better passing point guards I have seen over the past year. His court-vision coupled with his ability to get to the rim will fit right in with what Clemson does.
Brad Brownell has had some luck recently with keeping players from The Palmetto State in Tiger Country. Clyde Trapp and PJ Hall recently from Columbia and Spartanburg, respectively. Beadle chose Clemson over offers from Wake Forest, VCU, College of Charleston, Elon and Wofford among others. - Justin Byerly