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Posted On: 11/23/18 6:00 AM
We have completed the early signing period for the senior class. No drama as everyone that was supposed to sign did ink their national letters of intent. There was noteworthy recruiting news this past week. We look at a couple of signing week commitments, where the 2019 class stands now post signing period, and we get an update on the recruitment of a top 15 junior right here in our Recruiting Notebook!
Chris Payton Signs with SIU
Bloomington power forward Chris Payton has been the top prospect on the board for several months now. The 6’7” post out of central Illinois is an explosive athlete that can rebound at a high rate, block shots, and has developed his offensive game. He was a coveted recruit at the mid-major level taking official visits to Valpo, Southern Illinois, and Middle Tennessee State. This was the prospect that was truly the toss up as to whether or not he would sign in the early period. Over the last month MTSU and SIU both looked like they were on the verge of landing him. Would he make an early call? He did on the last day of the early signing period putting pen to paper with Southern Illinois. This was a huge pick up on the recruiting trail for the Salukis as he will be a dominant force in the MVC. Also this gives them three of the top 20 prospects from in-state with Payton, Evan Taylor (Glenbard West), and Lance Jones (Evanston). Payton told us why SIU was his choice. “It was more than basketball from the day they contacted me. You can’t pass up on people who care about you personally more than as a basketball player.” Payton is the #5 recruit in the state’s 2019 class and #2 power forward.
Baby Faced Assassin Headed to D2
The other commitment that went down during the early signing period was Johnsburg 2019 point guard Zach Toussaint signing with West Texas A&M. We nicknamed this guard the “Baby Faced Assassin” early in his travel team career with Kessel Heat. He literally looks like he is 10 years old and then goes and rips the opponent’s heart out with his scoring outputs. It was fitting then that in his first high school game as a senior he went for 51 points! Elite perimeter shooter that has a quick release.
Who is Left in 2019?
After the early signing period there is now only one prospect ranked in the current PHI top 10. That would be Whitney Young shooting guard Myles Baker who checks in at #9. He has interest from Cleveland State and Central Connecticut. We expect this to pick up significantly as a senior. Another CPS wing Tajautae Williams from Orr is up next as the best small forward. Big wing that can score with explosiveness. Three other prospects remain in the top 20 in Waukegan forward Bryant Brown, Morgan Park point guard Chris Roberts, and Simeon point guard Kejuan Clements. With Payton off the board the top post prospect is Bogan power forward Rashaun Agee. A pair of skilled snipers in Simeon’s Antonio Reeves and Gibson City’s Ryland Holt are two that could see their recruitments pick up as the season goes along.
Update with Top 15 PG Ray’Sean Taylor
We caught up with Collinsville point guard Ray’Sean Taylor at the Pyramid Plus Tournament earlier in the week. Taylor is a scoring point guard with the ability to get to the rim and usually has a reliable jumper. He updated us on his recruitment. “I got three offers from North Florida, SEMO, and UMKC. I have a lot of interest from SIU, SIU-Edwardsville, and North Dakota.” He broke down his visit to UMKC, “I liked the school. They have a lot of stuff to offer.” What stands out about North Florida? “I have seen that they produce good point guards. They have one of the leading scorers in Florida history.” What about SEMO? “I visited there too. It was a good school and I liked some of the players and how they play.” He plans on visiting North Florida and UW-Green Bay at some point.