Posted On: 11/6/18 12:00 PM
Zeke Nnaji finalized his list to five schools, took his five visits, and then another school jumped in at the last minute. A blue blood program. So where do things stand now?
Zeke’s father Apham Nnaji has been speaking regularly with reporters including 247 Sports.
“In terms of our timeline it hasn’t changed since the spring,” Apham explained. “We always said it would be around Thanksgiving sometime. What (Zeke’s) going to do is make a (verbal) commitment and then sign a Letter of Intent in the spring.”
The national signing day window opens a week from today (the 13th) and then closes seven days later. Based on the statement of Zeke’s father, Zeke’s choice will then come days after the window closes.
Therefore Nnaji will have verbally committed but won’s actually sign until the spring therefore in case something happens to the program that he commits to, Zeke will then have a chance to change his mind. This may not be Zeke’s plan, but committing after the early signing period keeps that option open.
North Carolina met with Nnaji and his family the Sunday after he returned from his Purdue visit last weekend.
“They came up and I told them we aren’t going to change our timeline and they said, ‘No we don’t want you to change your timeline.’ I said if you want to make a compelling pitch you’ve got the floor.
“We liked what they said. We enjoyed visiting with them and he was very candid. They offered him a scholarship, so we’ll think about it and determine if it makes sense to go down there.
“North Carolina sees) him in the mold of Maye, but a more athletic guy. They want to use him to stretch the floor. The kid that has already committed (Armando Bacot) they see him and Zeke co-existing.
“(Roy Williams) said he’s always had two big guys, one that is a traditional big and one that can actually shoot and stretch the stretch the floor and run and bring it up the court and all the things he can do. He can work out of pick and roll, they see him doing all the stuff.
“The (UNC) pitch is that it’s one of the best programs, if not the best program. They’ve won three championships. They have the tendency to play later in the tournament and usually the folks that get drafted are the folks that play later in the tournament.
“They have a really good strength and conditioning guy that has been with coach for 15 or 16 years. All of the assistants, if not all of them, went to North Carolina and played for (Williams). They make a pretty good case.”
The Purdue visit also well for Nnaji.
“We just came back from Purdue today,” Apham said. “It was the fifth and final trip. It was a great visit. Coach (Matt) Painter is an incredible cat. He’s just so relatable. He’s a straight up guy. He doesn’t mince words. He tells you exactly what he’s going to do.”
“It’s a great program and they feel like Zeke is the final piece to what they are looking for to get them to the top 10 if Zeke decides to go there. It was a great meeting. We talked X’s and O’s and how they are going to use him. All of the stuff they see him capable of doing and his skill set. It went really well.”