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Houston Cougars announce 5-star recruit Jarace Walker has signed his NLI

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UPDATED: November 10, 2021 -- 3:28 p.m. CT

Wednesday afternoon, Houston Cougars Men's Basketball Head Coach Kelvin Sampson announced IMG Academy's Jarace Walker has signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to join the Coogs.

Listed as a 5-star recruit by ESPN, 247Sports and Rivals, Walker is ranked as the No. 1 power forward by ESPN and 247Sports. At No. 12 nationally by 247Sports and at No. 19 in the ESPN 100, he will be the Cougars' first five-star signing since 2012.

"I see Jarace as a kid whose best days are way ahead of him. He can be your best player; but, he also can be a key part of a team because he can rebound and he can pass. He can play multiple positions. From 15 feet in, he creates problems because he can drive it; he can pass it; he plays above the rim. He can make a shot. He is a winner," Sampson said. "We chose to recruit Jarace, and he chose us because we have what he needs, and he has what we need. That's what makes it a great match. The sky is the limit for Jarace Walker. He will be as good as he chooses to be."

Originally from New Freedom, PA, Walker has competed for the last four seasons at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL, for Head Coach Sean McAloon. As a freshman during the 2018-19 season, he helped lead the team to the GEICO National title.

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"From day one, he is definitely a mismatch nightmare. At 6-foot-8 and 220 pounds, he can post up and face up both equally well. That's not the typical case for kids his size. His size and skills cause matchup problems all the time," AAU Team Thrill Coach Donnel "Mookie" Dobbins said. "Off the court, Jarace is a very reserved young man and is very family oriented. He likes to spend time with his family and friends. Jarace likes to focus on his craft and getting better. With his focus and commitment to his craft, he will provide some leadership as a freshman."

"Defensively, he can guard all over the floor and is able to guard 1 through 5. Offensively, Jarace is extremely powerful and is the best passing forward I've seen. He brings a lot of versatility and will allow Coach Sampson to be creative. Jarace can be an aggressive scorer or he can facilitate for others, which he is happy to do." IMG Academy Head Coach Sean McAloon said. "Away from basketball, Jarace is a delight to be around. He like to laugh and needle his coaches and teammates, but he knows when it's time to get to work."

CLICK HERE for news and info about the Coogs' men's basketball team.

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