Thad Matta signs four to Ohio State letters of intent

Two Texans, a Georgia resident and a native Buckeye make up the recruiting class Ohio State announced Wednesday on the first day for signing national letters of intent.

Ohio State’s latest class is rated among the top 10 nationally by most scouting services.

The class includes Austin Grandstaff, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Rockwall, Texas, Mickey Mitchell, a 6-8 forward from Plano, Texas, Daniel Giddens, a 6-10 center from Marietta, Georgia, and A.J. Harris, a 5-9 point guard from Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar High school.

Northwestern

Northwestern has signed guard Jordan Ash and forward Aaron Falzon to national letters of intent.

Alabama coach Anthony Grant has signed three of the state’s top prospects.

The Crimson Tide coach signed power forward Donta’ Hall, small forward Brandon Austin and combo guard Dazon Ingram.

Hall averaged 11.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 6.7 blocks per game as a junior at Luverne High School. He is regarded as the state’s top prospect.

Ingram averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists per game last season at Theodore High School.

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Austin averaged 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists as a junior at Carver High School in Montgomery.

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl has landed two high school players to start the early signing period.

The Tigers announced the signing of 6-foot-7 small forward Danjel Purifoy from Centreville, Alabama and California guard New Williams.

Purifoy is rated a four-star prospect by recruiting services and the 48th-rated player overall by 247sports. He now plays at Hargrave Military Academy after averaging 17.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game as a junior.

Williams is a 6-2 guard from Santa Monica. He’s also rated as a four-star prospect by several recruiting services.

Williams missed his junior year with a knee injury. Pearl calls him "one of the most athletic guards on the West coast."

Pearl says if Williams hadn’t been injured he would have been heavily recruited by Pacific-12 Conference schools. 

Tennessee

Tennessee has signed guard Shembari Phillips and forward Admiral Schofield to letters of intent.

Phillips, who is 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds, is from Wheeler High in Marietta, Georgia. Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall called Phillips a "long, athletic combo guard" who "can shoot it with range."

Schofield is a 6-6, 220-pound forward from Zion-Benton Township High in Zion, Illinois. He is the younger brother of Seattle Seahawks defensive end O’Brien Schofield. Tyndall said Schofield is "tough and rugged" but also skilled enough to shoot 3-pointers, pass and drive to the basket.

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings has signed four players to his 2015 class led by Djery Baptiste who chose the Commodores over Connecticut, SMU, Oregon and Southern California.

The other signees include guard Camron Justice from Hindman, Kentucky, Samir Sehic of Cypress, Texas and Joseph Toye from Chicago.

Baptiste is a 6-foot-11, 245-pound center from Plano, Texas, ranked as the eighth-best player in Texas by ESPN. The Haiti native speaks four languages and wants to be a diplomat, and Baptiste says he chose Vanderbilt for his academic chances and the chance to play as a freshman.

National champion UConn has signed three players to national letters of intent.

Geno Auriemma’s latest recruiting class includes, 6-foot-3 Katie Lou Samuelson from Huntington Beach, California; 6-2 DeJanae Boykin from Springdale, Maryland and 6-1 Napheesa Collier of O’Fallon Missouri.

The three recruits all committed Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period. They know each other well, having played together on the gold-medal winning 3-on-3 team at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in August.

Samuelson comes from Mater Dei High School in California, the same school that produced UConn senior Kalena Mosqueda-Lewis.

They will join 6-5 center Natalie Butler, who is sitting out this season after transferring from Georgtown, where she was the 2013-14 Big East Rookie of the Year. 

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Tennessee

Tennessee has signed point guard Te’a Cooper and wing MeMe Jackson to letters of intent.

Cooper, a 5-foot-8 guard from McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia, is rated as a top-20 prospect by all the major recruiting services. Jackson, a 5-foot-11 wing from Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is ranked as high as No. 21 by Blue Star.

Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick said that "we needed some athletic guards, and we got who we wanted. It makes for a great day today."

Cooper has helped McEachern win state titles two of the past three years. Jackson played on a state championship team at Blackman last season.