The Arizona Wildcats’ 2019 recruiting class was bolstered on Friday with the commitment of center Zeke Nnaji.
Ranked as the No. 35 recruit in the nation by 247sports, the commitment lifted Arizona to the No. 1 ranking for the 2019 class.
Here are 5 things you need to know about the Wildcats’ latest high profile commit:
1) His final list was loaded with blue chip programs
Nnaji, who stands at 6-foot-11, chose Arizona over a final top five list that also included the likes of Kansas, North Carolina, Purdue and UCLA.
In addition to Nnaji’s top five, the center from Hopkins, Minnesota also received offers from Baylor, Creighton, Georgetown, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Kentucky, Memphis, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, St. John’s, Texas Tech, Wisconsin, Xavier and Louisville.
Nnaji’s most recent visit was an unofficial trip to North Carolina on Nov. 16. He took his official visit to Arizona on Oct. 13.
2) It’s been a while since Arizona had a player from Minnesota on its roster
The last player from the Land of 10,000 lakes was Bret Brielmaier in 2007-08.
In Brielmaier’s senior season, he averaged 2.7 points per game on 9.8 minutes. Over his career, Brielmaier started 11 games and played in 92.
Brielmaier is now an assistant coach in the NBA, currently serving on the Brooklyn Nets’ staff.
3) Nnaji’s stock boosted thanks to his AAU team
This past offseason, Nnaji saw his stock rise significantly within the recruiting ranks after joining the D1 Minnesota program on the Adidas Gautlet circuit. According to ESPN, he averaged 14.5 points and 5.9 rebounds and shot over 60 percent from the floor on the summer circuit.
4) Nnaji is the fourth top 100 recruit Arizona has signed
The loaded Wildcats class for the 2019 cycle now includes four top 100 recruits, according to 247sports.
The other three include small forward Josh Green (No. 11), point guard Nico Mannion (No. 14) and shooting guard Terry Armstrong (No. 58).
The Wildcats have an additional commitment from a top 200 prospect in 7-foot center Christian Koloko (No. 166).
5) His high school lost just two games last year
The Hopkins Royals went 26-2 last year, according to MaxPreps. The Royals were upset in the the Class 4A, Section 6 title game by Wayzata 63-61 to cut Hopkins’ season short.
Over the last two seasons combined, Hopkins has gone 49-8 with Nnaji commanding the paint.