Top-50 recruit and St Louis native Jordan Nesbitt announced his commitment to Memphis Basketball Thursday after narrowing his list down to include Illinois and Saint Louis.
Jordan Basketball made his commitment known on social media posting, “Chapter 1: Committed Thankful for God blessing me with this opportunity at the next level. I thank my father and loved ones for helping and sticking with me through the good and bad times.”
The momentum on Jordan’s recruitment has swung dramatically in recent weeks. At one point, it seemed like an all but wrapped up conclusion that Nesbitt would stay close to home and commit to Travis Ford’s Saint Louis Billikens. However, it seems, the draw of Penny Hardaway and Memphis seemed to be too much for the 6’6” star athlete.
Of the final three that Nesbitt released on twitter three weeks ago, Memphis was the most recent to enter the picture, with Illinois and Saint Louis having played a far longer game on the recruiting trail, going back as far as his freshmen year. It stands to reason at this point that the Tigers were not the favorite when that list was released, but the longer Memphis was able to stay in contention and talk to the player, the better impression they were able to make.
Many consider Jordan to be the “prototypical” wing type player: with the size, shooting ability, handling, and athleticism to fit in any lineup configuration. His highlight reel from St. Louis Christian Academy and Brad Beal Elite is a myriad of dunks, jump shots, and slick moves. At the bare minimum, he’s your plug and play 3-and-D.
However, it seems that Coach Hardaway plans to incorporate Nesbitt as a more traditional guard. Jordan told Matthew Stevens of SI earlier this week, “I love how (Hardaway) told me he’d use me in his system. He wants me to be a one, and a two, other schools want me to play the wing. That really appealed to me.”
Nesbitt joins an already stacked 2021 recruiting class of wings heading into Memphis. Coming off the heels of sharpshooter John Camden committing just a day earlier, and joining Josh Minot, Coach Penny has put together a potentially top 10 recruit class in the nation. That being said, with two other high-profile wings already signed, it starts to make sense why the Memphis staff could see Nesbitt in a different role.
Nesbitt’s commitment also further adds to the developing story of Memphis’ hypothetical overcommitment of scholarships going into the 2021-2022 season. As it stands currently, the Tigers would have 16 scholarships promised with only 13 to provide. While many things can change (and they often do), it has sowed the seeds for potential drama down the road.
In a short time, Penny Hardaway has put together a strong collection of recruiting classes and catapulted the Tigers back into the national platform. Being able to step into a recruiting battle at the last minute and swipe a prospect out of the grasp of others speaks to the program and recruit plan he has put together.
While it will be over a year before Jordan Nesbitt puts on the Blue and Grey, his addition makes a statement; Memphis is no flash in the pan.