ATLANTA – Top-100 high school basketball players Isma’il Muhammad, a 6-6 forward from Atlanta, and 6-6 guard Anthony Vasser, signed national letters-of-intent with Georgia Tech Thursday, bringing to four head coach Paul Hewitt’s first Yellow Jacket recruiting class.
Tech has signed a player for every position on the floor except center, and all of them are ranked in the top-100 nationally.
Muhammad, ranked No. 44 by Brick Oettinger in PrepStars and No. 18 among small forwards nationally, was a first-team all-state choice last year while averaging 30 points, 13 rebounds and 4 steals per game at W.D. Muhammad High School. He also is ranked No. 55 by Rivals.com.
“Isma’il Muhammad was the first young man to commit to us, and our staff owes him awful lot because he made the first step,” Hewitt said. “His athleticism and intelligence brings an awful lot to our program.”
Vasser, a versatile player who can also play point guard, wing guard and wing forward, is rated No. 42 nationally by Rivals.com and No. 87 by Hoopscoop. He averaged 14 points and 9 rebounds as a junior last year, leading Woodlawn High School to the Alabama state championship in class 6A. He also attended the prestigious Nike All-American camp last summer.
“Anthony is probably the most versatile player in the group,” Hewitt said. “He plays the [point guard] position for his high school team. He might be able to play up to four different positions down the road. He’s an excellent rebounder.”
Tech began the signing period Wednesday by signing 6-7 power forward Ed Nelson of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and 6-5 guard Barry Elder of Morgan County High School in Madison, Ga.
“We’re obviously thrilled to have this type of response to our recruiting efforts,” said Hewitt Wednesday. “(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 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.