Jackets Tip Off Signing Period with Nelson, Elder

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team began the November signing period Wednesday by signing two top-100 high school prospects, 6-7 power forward Ed Nelson of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and 6-4 guard Barry Elder of Madison, Ga.

Nelson, a ruggedly-built player who weighs 245 pounds, is rated as high as No. 29 nationally in PrepStars. Nelson averaged 22 points and 10.5 rebounds per game as a junior last year at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, leading his team to a 30-4 record and a runner-up finish in the 5A state championship. Rated No. 18 among power forwards nationally by Rivals.com, he set four individual records during the 2000 U.S. Youth Development Festival in June, most points in a game (41), most field goals made (16) and attempted (26) in a game, and most free throws in the Festival (32).

Elder, ranked No. 73 in PrepStars and No. 20 among the nation’s shooting guards, averaged 21 points and 5 rebounds a game as a junior at Morgan County High School.

“Ed is a strong power forward and a great rebounder,” first-year head coach Paul Hewitt said. “He put up great numbers at the U.S. Youth Development Festival. Barry Elder is a versatile combo guard who is very athletic and will fit in well with our style of play. I’m very pleased to have these two young men join our program.”

Both players received 4-star ratings (out of five) by Rivals.com.

Tech will graduate five seniors after this season, and have eight scholarships available. But the Jackets can sign only five players this year under a new NCAA rule that limits Division I programs to committing a maximum of eight scholarships over a two-year period, five in any one year. The early signing period continues through next Wednesday, Nov. 15.

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