Blueprints for success
Wake makes noise by landing two big Georgia recruits
Posted: Friday July 13, 2007 12:30AM; Updated: Friday July 13, 2007 12:30AM
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Virginia Tech's Seth Greenberg was walking down a hallway in the Riverview Park Activities Center on Thursday evening when he spotted Wake Forest's Skip Prosser a few paces ahead. Unable to catch up by foot, Greenberg chose to shout a question at Prosser, who less than 18 hours earlier had received verbal commitments from two top-20 recruits in the class of 2008.
"Are you going to leave any for the rest of us, Prosser?" asked Greenberg, causing Prosser to stop in his tracks, turn slightly and reveal a smile.
That smile began forming just before midnight on Wednesday, when Al-Farouq Aminu, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward who Rivals.com ranks as the No. 3 senior, gave Prosser a verbal commitment. It was during a three-way phone call between Prosser, Aminu (in South Carolina for the Nike Peach Jam tournament) and Aminu's mother, Anjirlic, that the Georgia native made his choice known. "I just like the personality that coach Prosser has and the small-school setting at Wake Forest," said Aminu, who helped lead Norcross (Ga.) to the Class 5A state title last winter.
The fact that Aminu committed was not the only big news of the night, though, for Prosser. Earlier that evening, the Wake Forest coach received a call from Aminu's summer teammate, Tony Woods, who stands 6-foot-11, 230 pounds and attends Rome (Ga.). Ready to declare his own desire to be a Demon Deacon, Woods informed Prosser that he, too, would like to enroll. "Coach was ecstatic when I called, but I think Farouq might have given him a heart attack because that was the icing on the cake," said Woods, who ranks No. 18 on Rivals.com's class of 2008 rankings.
After going 15-16 last season, Prosser and his staff had already received a verbal commitment from Rivals.com's No.10-rated recruit, Ty Warren, a 7-foot, 230-pound center from New Hanover (Wilmington, N.C.). But with the addition of Thursday's blue chip additions, Prosser now has the blueprints for constructing a new skyline frontcourt along Tobacco Road in Winston Salem, N.C. "They're both bigs, but they play well and know how to interact with each other on the court having played together," said Georgia Stars coach Norman Parker.
Though he was on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River border from Georgia, many locals were talking about how Prosser was able to poach two Georgia peach recruits. Aminu, whose brother, Alade, is a rising forward at Georgia Tech, said his second choice would have been the Yellow Jackets. Woods said he considered Georgia until "I saw their true colors come out during the recruitment. I like the Ivy League education at Wake."
In the wake of Prosser's recruiting march through Georgia, the Deacons have the best recruiting class at this point in the summer. Just last week, UCLA seemed a cinch to claim the national recruiting class title with the commitment of Jrue Holiday, who ranks No. 2 on the Rivals.com rankings, joining fellow top-50 players Jerime Anderson and Malcolm Lee. But the big decisions by Aminu and Woods are overshadowing UCLA's verbals. "One of the reasons I like Wake was because it was a name that can be improved on," Woods said.
As the Georgia Stars played their night game against the New York Gauchos on Thursday, Prosser sat at mid court, stoically watching his newly committed recruits. Because of NCAA regulations that restrict coaches from speaking about recruits until they sign their letters of intent, he declined comment to SI.com, and likewise did not talk to his players. "It was great to see him out there," said Woods. "I think we made him a happy man."