By Roy & Harv Schmidt
Seeing as though for the past month virtually everyone who follows recruiting knew where Crandall Head would be attending college, today's formal announcement from the prized class of 2010 prospect came as absolutely no surprise. Nevertheless, it goes without saying that Head's commitment will have a huge impact in relation to the school that he chose.
Today Crandall Head, the 6'3 sophomore from Rich South High School in Richton Park, IL did what virtually everyone had expected him to do for the past month--he formally announced his commitment to the University of Illinois. Head made the announcement upon the conclusion of the Big Ten contest between the Illini and Penn State at the Assembly Hall in Champaign.
Head had long been considered a strong Illini lean and there were several factors that ultimately factored into his decision, not the least of which was the influence of Fighting Illini assistant coach Jerrance Howard, who not only played his college basketball at Illinois but was also a teammate of Crandall's older brother Luther. Simply put, the hiring of Howard as an assistant at Illinois helped solidify Crandall's allegiance to Illinois and served as a rubber stamp with respect to closing the deal.
The other big factor that made Illinois an obvious choice for Crandall was the tremendous success that Luther enjoyed at Illinois under Bruce Weber. While Luther was recruited to Illinois by Bill Self, Weber was instrumental in developing him into an NBA guard, which was undoubtedly a benchmark in Crandall's final decision.
The recent recruiting success that Weber has enjoyed certainly didn't hurt when it came to influencing Head either. We are talking about the fact that the Illini head coach has secured commitments from three of the top in-state prospects from the class of 2009--6'3 Brandon Paul from Warren Township High School in Gurnee, IL; 6'3 D.J. Richardson from Peoria Central High School in Peoria, IL; and 6'4 Joe Bertrand from Sterling High School in Sterling, IL and also landed the top rated prospect in Illinois from the class of 2010 in 6'6 Jereme Richmond from Waukegan High School in Waukegan, IL. Richardson and Richmond in particular were instrumental in encouraging Head to become a member of the Fighting Illini.
Head was absolutely spectacular during the month of December and came up huge at both the WDWS/News-Gazette Shootout at the Assembly Hall in Champaign and the Big Dipper Holiday Tournament at Rich South. As a result, he now ranks as our #2 prospect in Illinois from the class of 2010 behind only Richmond.
While it is still early, the commitment from Head means that Weber has arguably landed the top two prospects in the state of Illinois in consecutive classes (2009 and 2010) and lays the foundation for a 2010 recruiting class that could ultimately rank among the top ten nationally.