The ripple of recruiting momentum Auburn generated during the first few months of Bruce Pearl's tenure has grown into a tidal wave now that his show-cause penalty has expired and he can speak directly to prospects again.
Pearl landed his fourth key recruit in less than a week Thursday when former Maryland signee Trayvon Reed selected Auburn.
Reed, a 7-foot-1 center rated No. 91 in Rivals.com's Class of 2014 rankings, is expected to enroll at Elevate Prep School in Delray Beach, Fla. for at least the fall semester. He could join Auburn as soon as December if the Tigers have a vacant scholarship by then or he could wait until the 2015-16 season to make his debut.
That Reed was even available to Auburn is a product of a poor decision he made earlier this summer.
He was arrested in late July in College Park when he reportedly attempted to steal an ice cream bar from a convenience store, ran from the police officer who tried to arrest him and and then fought vehemently enough that it took two officers to subdue him. Maryland chose not to allow Reed to enroll after he was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, theft under $100 and resisting arrest.
Giving Reed a second chance is certainly a risk for Auburn, but the Alabama native can be an asset to the Tigers if he can avoid off-court trouble.
"Every bit of seven-feet tall, Reed is a long and athletic big man who lacks strength," Rivals.com's Eric Bossi told AuburnSports.com. "He has always teased with talent but has never been a very consistent performer. He has the tools to be a rim protector and play above the rim. Hopefully, the second chance and a stint at prep school will be exactly what he needs to tap into his potential."
The commitment from Reed is further evidence Pearl will be able to make Auburn relevant sooner than later now that his NCAA sanctions are no longer an issue.
The day before Pearl's penalty ended Saturday at midnight, he received a commitment from small forward Danjel Purifoy, Rivals.com's No. 80 recruit in the class of 2015. Two more coveted prospects pledged to come to Auburn soon after Pearl could talk to them for the first time — power forward Horace Spencer, Rivals.com's No. 73 recruit in the Class of 2015, and shooting guard T.J. Dunans, one of the nation's elite junior college players.
So Auburn has a lot to look forward to in the coming years. And if Reed can make the most of his second chance, he can be a big part of that.
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