By Greg DeVries
High School forward Ricardo Gathers has officially signed with Baylor and completes the basketball teams’ recruiting class.
He is listed as the 36th player on the 2012 ESPNU 100, which ranks the top 100 high school seniors in the country and is the top-ranked player coming out of Louisiana.
Gathers, a 6-foot-8-inch, 240-pound forward who played at Riverside Academy in LaPlace, La., averaged 22 points, 17 rebounds and 4.1 blocks in Louisiana’s Class 2A division. He recently led his high school to the 2A state championship game.
“Very few high school players enter college physically ready to compete at the highest level,” head coach Scott Drew said, “but Ricardo is one of those exceptions. He has grown-man strength and is a tremendously gifted athlete. He’s a remarkable young man that will help keep Baylor among the nation’s elite basketball programs.”
He also received offers from LSU, Syracuse and St. John’s, but signed with Baylor on Monday.
“We’re excited to see Ricardo Gathers in the green and gold and know Baylor Nation will love cheering for him next season,” Drew said.
Isaiah Austin, a center from Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington, and L.J. Rose, a point guard from Westbury Christian in Houston, are also Baylor commits that rank third and 63rd on the 2012 ESPNU 100, respectively. Fort Worth Christian center Chad Rykhoek is the fourth member of Baylor’s recruiting class.
The Bears will also be returning three starters: junior Pierre Jackson, freshman Quincy Miller and sophomore Brady Heslip.
ESPNU has ranked Baylor’s recruiting class as the fifth best in the country, just behind the Texas Longhorns.
The Kansas Jayhawks have reeled in the 11th best recruiting class, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys are ranked at No. 20.