ATLANTA – Completing its recruiting efforts for the November signing period, Georgia Tech’s basketball program signed 6-10 center Michael Southall of West Salem, Wis., to a letter-of-intent Friday, November 10.
Head coach Paul Hewitt’s first Tech signing class includes five players, one at every position on the floor, all ranked in the top 100 high school prospects nationally.
Southall, who graduated from West Salem (Wis.) High School in 2000 but is attending Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., this year, is expected to give Tech a dominant presence inside following the graduation of Alvin Jones after the 2000-01 season. As a senior at West Salem, Southall averaged 23 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocked shots per game while earning first-team all-state honors. He ranks No. 88 among the nation’s prep prospects in PrepStars. He participated in the 2000 Derby Classic, a post-season all-star game held in Louisville, Ky.
“He’s a true (center), 6-foor-10, 250 pounds,” said Hewitt. “I had a chance to see him a couple of times. He’s a good shot-blocker and rebounds well. He’ll benefit greatly from his experience at Hargrave.”
Also signing letters-of-intent with Tech during the early signing period Wednesday were 6-7 power forward Ed Nelson of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 6-4 shooting guard Barry Elder of Madison, Ga., 6-6 small forward Isma’il Muhammad of Atlanta, and 6-6 Anthony Vasser of Birmingham, Ala.
“We’re obviously thrilled to have this type of response to our recruiting efforts,” said Hewitt Wednesday, November 8. “(Assistant coaches) Willie Reese, Dean Keener and Cliff Warren deserve a lot of credit for the work they’ve put in since late April to put together a class that will probably be one of the best in the country. We’ve brought in guys who we feel will fit well into our style of play.”
Tech will graduate five seniors after this season, and have eight scholarships available. But the Jackets are limited to signing 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.